How Coloring is Good Stress Relief for Adults
Coloring for adults has been proven to be beneficial to adults for its “de-stressing power”. This idea has been around for some time, specifically during the time of Dr. Carl Jung who was one of the first psychologists to use coloring as a relaxation technique. Coloring forms and mixing and matching colors, actives 2 parts of our brain: logic and creativity. The relaxation that coloring provides us with lowers the activity of the part of the brain that controls emotion and that is affected by stress. Focusing on a particular activity like coloring, concentrating on the lines and the shapes, forces our minds to focus less on our worries and brings out our imagination. Our minds revert back to our childhood when we certainly did not have any worries.
While coloring, concentration and imagination occupy the brain simultaneously. This leaves little room to think about stress and other trivial matters. although it cannot cure cancer, art has been proven to have many therapeutic qualities to help people express themselves in a time of personal crisis.
A 2006 study of women with cancer, found that the mindless therapy of coloring helped to decrease symptoms of physical and emotional distress. Another study showed that after one hour of coloring, cancer patients were more willing and comfortable with continuing their treatment. According to Joke Bradt, a music therapist at Drexel University in Philadelphia, “to be able to engage in a creative process…that stands in very stark contrast to sort of passively submitting oneself to cancer treatments”. However, coloring can also benefit those dealing with mental illness such as depression, dementia, anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder.