Hello Sweet Friend:
Aching for stress relief? I feel ya! And I have a suggestion…
Why not try colouring?
It might sound too good to be true, but there are so many surprising benefits to colouring, including sweet, sweet stress relief.
And I promise, it’s not just for kids.
So get your pencil crayons nice and sharp and grab a cool adult colouring book, because today we’re going to dive into why colouring is a self-care activity you totally need to try. Let’s dive in, shall we…
Benefits of Colouring
1. Reduce Stress
Stressed out? Grab some pencil crayons and colour, baby! Because it just may be the gentle, relaxing activity you need.
According to Psychologist Gloria Martínez Ayala:
“The relaxation that [colouring] provides lowers the activity of the amygdala, a basic part of our brain involved in controlling emotion that is affected by stress.” (source)
Basically, you’re calming down the stressed out part of your brain and easing your mind. One page at a time.
2. Boost Creativity
Colouring provides you with a fun, creative release that has zero stakes. It doesn’t matter if you’re artistic or skilled. You can still colour and have fun. This is (unfortunately) a rare treat for adults.
There are even opportunities for a little rebellion. Want a purple sky? Go ahead! Green people? Do it! It’s your colouring book. One of the benefits of colouring is that you can do whatever you want. Adults need creative outlets too. So be a creative rebel! I promise, it’ll feel good to indulge your random, creative ideas.
Your brain agrees, since this activity activates the parts of your brain related to motor skills, senses and creativity. Colouring is awesome. (source)
And, since the images are already there, ready to be filled in with colour, you have a sort of scaffolding to work with. Which means that you can get creative without feeling intimidated or worrying about your skill level. It’s a fun, safe space, all ready for you!
When you’re de-stressing, you’re often on your way to feeling more relaxed. But colouring’s ability to make you feel good goes so much further than that.
Most of us associate colouring with positive childhood memories. According to Janis Timm-Bottos, an Associate Professor of Creative Arts Therapy from Concordia University, activities that bring back positive childhood memories are a great way to relax because:
“It was a time when you didn’t have to do things in a certain way because you were playing.” (source)
Revisiting positive childhood experiences can help to make us feel pretty damn zen.
And the nostalgia is powerful (we’ll talk about that in a minute).
Colouring also forces you to focus. It’s a gentle, repetitive activity that requires that you pay attention… which makes it harder for you to focus on your woes. And that too can make you feel calm and relaxed. Wonderful, right?! (source)
Add some good snacks and nice music and you have a relaxation evening in the making.
4. Meditate (Seriously)
So, this may sound weird, but hear me out… colouring can be a form of meditation! How’s that for an amazing benefit!? It certainly makes me want to stock up on adult colouring books.
But don’t just take my word for it. The lovely Janis Timm-Bottos says that colouring can even be a form of meditation because the repetitive rhythm of colouring calms and distracts the mind. And that creates the perfect opportunity to relax and simply exist in the present moment. It’s a pretty cool way to get your ohm on! (source)
5. Sleep Better
Need help catching some serious Zzz? Try colouring before bed!
Not only is a great way to get away from electronics before bed (which can really mess with our sleep), you also know you’ll be de-stressing and relaxing and brings your mind to the present.
When it’s late and you’re trying to shut your brain off, relaxing, gentle activities that won’t disturb your melatonin levels can be a golden. Colour and wind down. (source)
6. Enjoy Nostalgia
One big reason to benefit from colouring as an adult if you loved it as a child is that nostalgia is pretty darn powerful.
Activities that create a sense of nostalgia also tend to make you feel like your life is more meaningful.
Existential Psychologist Dr. Clay Routledge says:
“Nostalgia serves a crucial existential function. It brings to mind cherished experiences that assure us we are valued people who have meaningful lives.” (source)
Indulging in nostalgia also makes us more generous. It increases our tolerance of others and even boosts our optimism. (source)
It’s good to indulge in things that bring on feel good memories. So colour away!
There are tons of benefits of colouring that are wonderful for adults, so grab yourself a colouring book. The little ones shouldn’t be the only ones who get to enjoy fun, relaxing, creative activities, right?
Do you like to colour? What are your go-to relaxing self-care activities? Share your lovely thoughts with us in the comments below.
Health and love,
Thought of the Day: Tap into activities that soothe you.
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