Why coloring books are good for you
If you love coloring books we have something in common. They're an incredibly easy and accessible way to relax for a little while and there's actually a lot more to coloring than one might initially think at face value. There are legitimate health benefits connected to coloring and I wanted to share them with you because now when I'm using my coloring book I'm fully aware of all I'm receiving in the practice and I hope it does the same for you!
Taking time for self care is usually not a priority on most people's lists, but when we take that time we are honoring ourselves and sending a message that we matter and are worth it. How we speak to and treat ourselves is so very important because we cannot give from an empty cup. We can't truly love and give to others until we can do so for ourselves first. We don't have to be martyrs nor should we be.
When we color we connect the left and right hemispheres of our brains. The left side of the brain is connected with tasks that require logic like science and math, while the right side of the brain is more involved with tasks involving creativity and art. Deciding what colors to use and how to use them combined with attention to detail requires both problem solving skills and creativity, and when we strengthen the connectivity between the hemispheres we are strengthening our ability to think outside the box and problem solve in our everyday lives.
Coloring is a type of mindfulness meditation. It keeps us in the present moment following lines on paper as we use our choice of colors to fill in the blanks. It's mesmerizing and affords us a mental break from negative and intrusive thoughts. This has been found to be especially true when coloring mandalas. One example of this are the Tibetan monks that use colored sand for their mandalas.
Using complex color schemes and flexing our organizational skills means we're engaging the frontal lobe which is the part the brain that controls our cognitive skills like memory, language and judgement. So when we color we're boosting our intelligence.
Stress and anxiety reducer
The amygdala is the part of our brain where feelings of stress and anxiety come from, it's the source of our fight or flight (also faint, fool, and freeze) responses. It gets our hearts racing, and adrenaline pumping and it's not necessarily a bad thing because without our amygdalas our survival instincts would be greatly reduced. Sometimes it goes into overdrive with day to day stressors though and being in a state of prolonged stress and anxiety is not good for our overall health. When we color we send signals to the brain that we're safe and can relax, giving our nervous system a much needed break.
I hope the next time you sit down with your coloring book you reflect on this information and know that what you're doing is an act of love for yourself. Love begins within and we all deserve to hold space for ourselves and to be held.
Much love to you
|One of my coloring pages :)|
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