A Key Stress-Buster: Why Is Coloring So Relaxing?

There are a lot of great ways that some of us get rid of stress. Some of the more popular include meditation, exercise, writing, and connecting with other people. Another one of those great stress-busters is getting into art, with coloring being one of the biggest stress relievers around. Not many think of coloring when they consider the top stress relievers, but it should be thought of as being right up there with the others.

What is it about coloring that helps to put our minds at ease, though? After all, coloring seems like a simple task that most of us have been doing for as long as we’ve been able to walk and talk. Let’s take a look at the art of coloring and discover its relaxing traits. Once you learn a bit more, you’ll see why it’s such a great stress-buster and want to try it for yourself.

The Attention

There could be something that’s only just a little bit stressful in your life, but when you think about that one thing for too long, it can end up being a massive source of stress. Things like traffic, getting one particular piece of work done, or any other minor stress source can instantly blow up when it’s at the center of your mind. With coloring, you can (literally) draw attention away from what’s stressing you out.

Coloring requires a good amount of focus, but not enough to the point where you’re going to be stressed from doing it as an activity. This makes coloring one of the ultimate distractions, and when you’re focused on the simple task of coloring more than anything else, you’re going to feel a reduction in stress almost instantly. It really is the simplicity of the task that makes coloring such a good stress-buster, as it won’t add more stress to your body.

Rekindling an Old Flame

Many of us spent our time growing up coloring. Because of that, there can be a feeling of nostalgia for adults every time they color. They’ll think about all of the fun that they had as children, opening up a new coloring book and putting some new details on some of their old favorite characters. A trip down memory lane can be a great way to relieve stress when thinking about the good times.

This is especially true for senior citizens, who can have a lot of nostalgic moments to look back on. Seniors can also have a sense of belonging every time they color, especially in their much older years when they feel that they can’t do much else. We all feel like kids again when we color, and that’s a feeling that only a handful of things in this life can give us.

Pure Happiness

Can you think of a time when someone was upset when they were coloring? The answer to that is almost guaranteed to be a “no.” You can mess up a hundred times when coloring, but you’re still likely not going to be upset that you used the wrong shade or went outside of the lines just a little bit.

Coloring is one of those activities where we don’t expect perfection from ourselves and want to focus on getting better without adding too much stress. Exercising, while a great stress reliever, can often put us into a hyper-competitive mode, and ultimately add stress when we aren’t improving with each and every exercise. The same isn’t really true for coloring, thankfully, allowing us to fully relax and embrace our mistakes.

Kick Them Nasty Thoughts

Studies have shown that those who are actively coloring don’t really have many negative thoughts after participating. Dr. Joel Pearson is a scientist who works at the University of South Wales, and he said that “concentrating on coloring…may facilitate the replacement of negative thoughts and images with pleasant ones.”

It makes sense, too, as when we think of coloring, we think of bringing some of our favorite established characters to life. Some of us grew up with coloring books filled with characters like The Flintstones, Spongebob Squarepants, and many more. There are also plenty of other positive images in coloring books, especially from the world of nature. Simply put, nobody looks at a coloring book and suddenly has negative thoughts and images pop into their head.

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