If you think that coloring books and crayons are just for kids, you could be missing out on a great opportunity to de-stress and see improvement in other areas of performance. Believe it or not, engaging in an activity that you might otherwise use to distract your kids and keep them quiet actually provides an opportunity for you to focus on something other than your hectic life and clear your mind. Here are some ways that coloring can improve your day.
Relieve stress: For some people, meditation just doesn’t cut it. Sitting still in silence for a period of time just isn’t the key to stress relief and that’s okay! According to Psychologies, coloring is a form of active meditation that focuses your attention on a simple task and blocks negative thoughts that might intrude on your thoughts during concentrative meditation. Concentrating on creating a colorful and detailed image helps you focus on the task at hand and not on all the worries you might have.
Improve motor skills: According to Huffington Post, when you color, you engage multiple areas of your brain, which involves both logic and creativity. It also activates parts of the cerebral cortex that are linked to fine motor skills and vision. Who knew that sitting down to color with your kids would help exercise parts of your body that you probably don’t think to exercise often?
Spark creativity: Maybe you aren’t an artist. For you, the creative flow ends at cutting your kids’ sandwiches with a heart-shaped cookie cutter. A blank page is just intimidating but an image just waiting for the life of color can be just the ticket to get those creative juices flowing. Before you know it, you’ll be creating masterpieces that rival van Gogh’s “Starry Night.”
Encourage bonding with the kids: Remember when you were seven and you didn’t have to worry about bills and work and whether or not your car is going to make it through the next hundred miles? Coloring allows you to return to that childlike mindset of freedom. Even better, you can enjoy this time with your kids. Sometimes, setting aside all your adult stress and getting in sync with the kiddos can really help you see what really matters. Just 30 minutes of coloring time as a family will be a good thing for everyone.
Adult coloring books are becoming increasingly popular. Johanna Basford’s “Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book” is a bestseller and is very popular in the United Kingdom. Intricate designs and beautiful detail make the perfect canvas for a meditation session. So next time you start to feel overwhelmed, take a deep breath and get out some crayons!