Coloring Should Never Be Outgrown


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If you think you're too old for coloring, you're wrong. Coloring is a very healthy activity that reduces stress and anxiety. Maybe that is one of the reasons why children are more carefree and relaxed than adults. Older people normally have more stress and anxiety than young children therefore I believe that coloring should never be outgrown. A few weeks ago I went home sick and after laying on the couch for hours I started getting bored and antsy. As I was looking threw my drawers I found an old coloring book and a pack of crayons. I colored at least five pages without looking at the clock. Coloring honestly made me feel better and temporarily forget how sick I felt. As I looked deeper into it, coloring is actually proven to reduce stress and temporarily alleviate pain. 


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Many people find it hard to clear their heads enough to meditate. I know that I am one of these people. I find it extremely hard to focus on the task at hand as I am constantly zoning out and day dreaming of other things going on. For people like this, there is something called active meditating which is much easier to grasp than Eastern "concentrative" meditating. Active meditating focuses on a simple task that takes ones mind off of everything else around them. This helps to erase negative thoughts and create an inner state of peace. (http://sharpthinking2010.blogspot.com/2010/04/grab-paper-and-find-crayolas-because.html) So next time you are feeling stressed out, pick up a coloring book and try it out. 

To get an even deeper peace, try making a mandala. Mandalas are one of the most effective forms of coloring. Apparently, the intricacy and symmetry in a mandala helps to create balance that is very beneficial for brain functioning. For those of you who don't know what a mandala is, here are some Examples. Click here for more information on coloring as a stress reliever.  


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5 Comments

Hey Dana,

This is a cute/fun idea. However, what if someone is really bad at coloring and gets overwhelmed by the idea in general. It may seem soothing to some people but frustrating to others. Did you happen to see if there were experiments done on subjects coloring and their moods before and after?? I guess it can depend on what you're coloring. I know I am bad at it, but if it was just shading lines or areas I probably wouldn't mind it, since you said, it's a good distraction. One of the reasons children may be stressfree, while coloring, is because they don't necessarily realize that the aim of coloring is to have it look neat and pretty. I feel like coloring and stress relief honestly depends on the person, but who knows. If you're like me and don't feel relief from coloring try out some of these stress relievers: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/stress-relievers/MY01373. For me personally I would probably get together with friends, or even call one, to hopefully strike up a good convo that'll get me laughing, and feeling happier overall! :)

I think this is a very interesting topic, I just wish you would have incorporated a study of some sort to further your findings. I think it's interesting that color is a stress reliever considering that the people that color the most are little children, who in the grand scheme of things have the lowest levels of stress! Regardless, it probably can't hurt since according to your post it also creates an "inner state of peace." In this article: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/creative-development/200812/the-color-emotion they talk about how children are actually able to associate colors with feelings at a young age - quite impressive if you ask me! Sure, I colored all the time as a kid, but I never thought that years later I'd be looking up the science behind it!

I think there is a truth to what you are saying here. Tonight at one of my club meetings, the speaker was from Microsoft. He worked to manage "The Garage", their space that fosters innovation. He said they used to have coding meetups but to include the less techy people, they started have drawing meetups where one day after work a week there will be a figure model there for a little and everyone takes a few minutes to sketch out a couple different model poses. He said he incorporated this into their innovation "Garage" because it challenged everyone and reiterated the idea they just have to get over whatever is holding them back and "do". This ties into how coloring is beneficial and relaxing. You are able to zone out, focus on something relaxing, and have an end result. This article from about.com explains art therapy works http://stress.about.com/od/funandgames/a/learningtodraw.htm

This is great! I totally agree. I've been sick for the last few days and I had to do this painting project. I really was not looking forward to doing it and wanted to get it over with. As I started painting I felt so relaxed. I was no longer concentrating on how my body felt or the annoyance of the task I was just consentrating on each and every stroke. I ended up feeling so great, I didn't want it to end! I think we're both proof that these tasks are very soothing, and like you said comparable to meditating. It gives you mind something to zone in on, opposed to being all over the place thinking about every day to day task.

I believe that this theory can be applied to a lot of other tasks besides coloring. I think every person has their own way of having their "zone" where they can relax and reflect on the events of the day and to process their experiences. For some it maybe coloring , for some it could be another task. I know my friend was talking about this exact scenario. She was feeling very stressed and overwhelmed and she identified that she needed to do an activity that was not academic and she said after joining her new club she has seen improvements in her stress levels.

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