Coloring Isn’t Just For Kids! Studies Show The Artistic Activity Relieves Stress

When it comes to how the world sees us, the United States is a nation of people who can’t seem to slow down and relax. We are on the go all the time and we want everything to be fast and cheap, yet bigger and better than everyone else. Unfortunately, such a mindset results in high levels of distress which usually leads to aches and pains, heart problems and palpitations, and even frequent colds. As a matter of fact, The Inquisitr reported numerous times on stress management. This includes a study that frequent migraines and headaches are associated to high levels of distress and the fact that stressing over having stress ironically leads to illness.

Now there is another study that may help adults lower their stress levels, and you won’t believe what it is: it’s coloring! You know that activity kindergartners do with crayons? Well, if adults do that, their stress levels go down!

According to an article by Huffington Post, it reports that coloring activates different areas of our two cerebral hemispheres, as explained by psychologist Gloria Martínez Ayala.

“The action involves both logic, by which we color forms, and creativity, when mixing and matching colors. This incorporates the areas of the cerebral cortex involved in vision and fine motor skills [coordination necessary to make small, precise movements]. The relaxation that it provides lowers the activity of the amygdala, a basic part of our brain involved in controlling emotion that is affected by stress.”

In basic-speech terms, coloring has a de-stressing effect on people because we concentrate on a particular activity instead of our worries. Yet, it brings out our imagination and takes us back to childhood, a period of our lives when everything was simple and not jaded. Another psychologist, Antoni Martínez, suggest coloring as a relaxation technique in which he details why in the following.

“We can use it to enter into a more creative, freer state. I myself have practiced that. I recommend it in a quiet environment, even with chill music. Let the color and the lines flow.”

Artnet News followed up on the story by the Huffington Post in which the study apparently has resulted in a number of publishers catering to adults by launching coloring books specifically for adults. In France and the United Kingdom, these coloring books have become so popular that they are even best-sellers.

Now that you know that coloring can be used to de-stress one’s life, do you feel the need to buy some crayons and coloring books to indulge in your “inner child?” If so, let everyone know in the comments below!

[Image via Bing]