Color Me Calm
Photo Credit: Dover Publications
The next time you need to unwind after a long, stressful day, consider skipping over the glass of wine and reaching for the crayon box instead. That’s right, coloring is not just for kids anymore. A recent article in Huffington Post is touting the very real benefits of putting colored pencil (or crayon) to paper. Somewhere along the line, most of us believed we’d graduated from coloring books, but maybe we shouldn’t have.
According to psychologist Gloria Martinez Ayala, the repetitive, fine-motor movements of coloring activate different areas of the two cerebral hemispheres, and the benefits are immense:
- Engaging our minds in both logic and creativity
- Providing relaxation
- Lowering the activity in the amygdala, part of the brain affected by stress
It can also connect us to our emotions, expressing themselves through color and intensity. But even more importantly, it can connect us to our kids. Sharing the activity of coloring is good for relationships, too. In fact, kids love to share activities with parents that they feel are their domain. Think about it, as parents, we bring kids into our world, but how often do we enter theirs, from their perspective?
And if the thought of coloring princesses or superheroes doesn’t exactly thrill you, there are plenty of coloring books geared specifically for adults. Check out some options like Color Me Good and Art Therapie, both bestsellers. There are also plenty of free downloads on Pinterest that both kids and adults can enjoy.
De-stressing while connecting to kids—what could be better? You know, aside from all the great art you’ll have for the refrigerator.