Coloring. Not Just for Kids Anymore
A Doodle a Day #16 — Now with Color!
True confession that won’t surprise anyone. I love coloring. Seriously. I. Love. Coloring. Then I discovered I could doodle myself something to color! As a friend of mine likes to remark, “That’s a little bit of heaven right there!”
Coloring can be a little bit of heaven…because it’s fun and it’s now a known stress reliever. All I can say is yes, it is fun and I started doodling/coloring as a result of stress and I found relief. But don’t just listen to me… here’s this from an article in the Huffington Press:
“The practice generates wellness, quietness and also stimulates brain areas related to motor skills, the senses and creativity. In fact, publishers have lately been launching coloring books specifically for adults.
One of the first psychologists to apply coloring as a relaxation technique was Carl G. Jüng in the early 20th century. He did this through mandalas: circular designs with concentric shapes similar to the Gothic churches’ rose windows. They have their origin in India.
When coloring, we activate different areas of our two cerebral hemispheres, says 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 simplest terms, coloring has a de-stressing effect because when we focus on a particular activity, we focus on it and not on our worries. But it also “brings out our imagination and takes us back to our childhood, a period in which we most certainly had a lot less stress.” This leads us immediately and unconsciously to welfare, exposes the specialist.
“I recommend it as a relaxation technique,” says psychologist Antoni Martínez. “We can use it to enter into a more creative, freer state,” he assures. We can also use it to connect with how we feel, since depending on our mood we choose different colors or intensity. “I myself have practiced that. I recommend it in a quiet environment, even with chill music. Let the color and the lines flow.”
There you have it. So, if you like to give this a try (and I highly recommend you do), I have created a selection of coloring pages based on the artwork I’ve created for this blog for you to download. Check it out and if you give it a go, please share back with me how it turned out. I would love to be able to feature some other people’s colorful creations here!