The Effects of Coloring on the Mind

Coloring is no longer strictly a kid activity. Adult coloring books have boomed in the market as the latest method of destress for adults. That isn’t just sales talk speaking, studies have proven that coloring has benefits for the busy Mom and Dad, as well as the child.

Coloring is a timeless aid with a child’s motor skills and coordination from the time a child first handles a crayon. What it does is teaches him or her how to handle writing materials at a later age. Coloring in the lines is also more than just a quick personality test on how creative or impulsive your child is, it also teaches them to focus on details and plan ahead by looking at the big picture.

Most of all, coloring is a lesson in itself in patience and relaxation. For the busy adult, that is probably what is triggered when one buckles down to fill up a page. Australian neuroscientist and coloring book author Stan Rodski tells ABC Australia that he has observed changes in heart rate and brainwaves in adults from the act of coloring. This may have come from the joy first experienced in coloring, that is recalled when an adult takes it again. Rodski himself started making coloring books when professionals in his care did not benefit to traditional relaxation techniques, “I was struggling with executives, managers, people who would normally be referred to me with stress, who just found it enormously difficult to do deep breathing, relaxation or meditation,” he says. “The reality is that we actually enjoy the process. It’s a process that takes us to a time that is stress free.”

For those looking for the right kind of coloring book, Rodski recommends patterns and shapes rather than defined scenes. When facing patterns and shapes, Rodski observes, “I find that a lot of adults that I come across do get quite upset with themselves about the way they colour things.They create almost an internalised competition with themselves, which is the very thing we don’t want them to do.”

Here are some coloring pages to help you destress.


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