If you want to understand why adult coloring is a growing trend, it's important to have your questions answered. Not knowing the basics of how it actually works can result in making mistakes such as brushing it off as an activity reserved for children only. The purpose of this article is to answer some of your questions about how you can benefit from the activity of adult coloring.
In the following article, you'll receive answers to questions like "what are the reasons that adults color?" and "how does it reduce stress?" You'll also learn about the research backing the usefulness of adult coloring as an activity, how art, in general, can heal you in unexpected ways, and more. Once your questions have been answered, you'll have the information you need to decide if adult coloring is an activity that you'd like to try.
Why Is Adult Coloring A Thing?
Coloring used to be reserved for children and the occasional adult who got to babysit them, but recently, the activity has found a different demographic. What started as a niche hobby has now turned into an international trend as adult coloring books find themselves on more and more bestsellers' lists throughout the world. However, while this trend may be a fun way to pass the time, it's the books' therapeutic properties that really have them flying off the shelves.
Adult coloring requires modest attention focused outside of self-awareness. It is a simple activity that takes us outside ourselves. In the same way, cutting the lawn, knitting, or taking a Sunday drive can all be relaxing.
How Does Adult Coloring Benefit Me?
A simple act, such as coloring, takes your attention away from yourself and onto the present-moment event. In this way, it is very much like a meditative exercise. When thoughts are focused on a simple activity, your brain tends to relax.
We are not disturbed by our own thoughts and appraisals. The difficulties of life evaporate from our awareness, and both our bodies and our brains may find this rewarding. The fact that the outcome of coloring is predictable also can be relaxing. It is hard to screw up coloring, and even if you do, there is no real consequence. As a result, adult coloring can be a wonderful lark rather than an arduous test of our capacities.
Is There Research Behind Adult Coloring?
Research on adult coloring specifically is limited, but recently, it has relatively risen in popularity. However, art therapy has been used for many years with much success. In a 2006 study, researchers found that mindfulness art therapy for women with cancer helped to significantly decrease the symptoms of physical and emotional distress during their treatment. Art therapy has also helped people cope with other conditions, including depression, anxiety, addictions, and trauma.
Adult coloring presents a creative venture without the need for artistic flair. One simply needs to color within the lines in order to get the desired effect. However, some experts suggest that it's this lack of artistic input from patients that prevents adult coloring from being considered a genuine form of art therapy.
How Does Adult Coloring Reduce Stress?
Just because adult coloring alone may not constitute art therapy, that doesn't mean the activity isn't helpful. Coloring elicits a relaxing mindset, similar to what you would achieve through meditation. Like meditation, coloring allows us to switch off our brains from other thoughts and focus on the moment. Tasks with predictable results, such as coloring or knitting, can often be calming. Then come the changes in heart rate and brainwaves.
There also exists a different explanation for the therapeutic effect: Concentrating on coloring an image may facilitate the replacement of negative thoughts and images with pleasant ones. You have to look at the shape and size; you have to look at the edges, and you have to pick a color. It should occupy the same parts of the brain that stops any anxiety-related mental imagery happening as well. Anything that helps you control your attention is going to help.
Is Adult Coloring For Everyone?
Adult coloring does not relax everyone. It depends on the individual and their prior experiences. The more a person enjoyed coloring as a child, the more likely he or she is to respond to it positively as an adult. Adults choose variants of activities they loved as children for their adult recreations.
Art therapy often involves using an art medium as a tool to help address a patient's specific problem, but as you might have observed in your high school art class, some individuals are more artistically gifted than others. Those who judge themselves as bad artists may be more likely to miss out on the benefits of art-based therapies, so it helps that adult coloring isn't technically art therapy because it lacks the "artistic flair" explained previously in this article. It's like the difference between listening to music versus learning how to play an instrument. Listening to music is something easy that everyone can do, but playing an instrument is a whole other skill set. Adult coloring is more like just listening to music.
It's natural to have questions regarding adult coloring. Many people aren't aware of the power of art therapy or that there is research to support adult coloring as a form of relaxation or why it has become popular now. Not being aware of these things leaves room for you to miss out on the wonderful yet simple benefits you can enjoy from adult coloring.
This article gave you the answers to questions that often come up regarding adult coloring, like "how does adult coloring reduce stress?" and "does it help some people but not others?" Now that you've read this information, you should have a clearer understanding of adult coloring. You can now see if it can do for you what it has done for many others.