Coloring, like many hobbies, can help its practitioners relax, de-stress, and unwind. However, it has additional benefits. By engaging the frontal lobe of the brain, where organizing and problem solving is done, it helps people focus. It also requires both hemispheres of your brain to communicate, improving vision and fine motor skills as well. It may also help reduce cognitive decline with age, similar to crossword puzzles or playing an instrument.
The fact that coloring is structured, activates the logic part of the brain, and generates a creative mindset, said New York-based clinical psychologist Dr. Ben Michaelis.
Because it’s a centering activity, the amygdala, which is the part of the brain that is involved with our fear response, actually gets a little bit of a rest, and it ultimately has a really calming effect over time.
Michaelis is not the only one prescribing coloring. Doctors have been advising it for over 100 years, such as Carl Jung, who believed coloring, along with drawing, painting, or sculpture making was more than just art. Jung proposed that art “can be used to alleviate or contain feelings of trauma, fear, or anxiety and also to repair, restore and heal.”
Finally, there is no right or wrong way to color. It is easy enough that even those who, like me, lack the skills for traditional visual art, such as drawing or painting, can do it satisfactory. There are no rules to follow. I will not even judge you if you do not stay in the lines. Or if you color the horse purple. Or the entire page is scribbles.
You can read more on the benefits here, or you can look at some officially licensed Geektastic coloring books you can check out that will be hitting the shelves in the coming weeks:
If you don’t want to wait, here are some of my other favorites:
- Vive Le Color! (Japanese Influence, despite the title)
- Lost Ocean (Great nautical pictures)
- The Time Garden (Surreal garden inside a clock)
- Tropical World (Pretty much what it sounds like)
So there you have it. Go get your crayons, colored pencils, markers, or water color paint.