Don’t miss the stress relief coloring book at the end of this post!
When children are little, we give them crayons and coloring books as soon as their little fingers can grasp. They are encouraged to color in fun drawings of their favorite Disney character or animals, or draw a “pretty picture”. The benefits of coloring at that stage is not about the art. It is more about fine motor skills, learning colors, hand eye coordination, and self-esteem.
As children get older, art moves beyond coloring to more complex disciplines such as drawing, painting, sculpture, and so on. Kids outgrow the crayons that were so important to them when they were little and move on to more “grown-up” things.
Benefits of Coloring Books In Teens And Adults
New research suggests that the benefits of coloring do not stop as we get older. The benefits merely move from physical and developmental to emotional and mental benefits. The act of coloring in adults has been shown to:
- reduce stress
- increase mindfulness
- improve the ability to focus
- boost creativity
You may hove noticed the popularity of adult coloring books and stress relief coloring books. What does the science say about them?
Science And Coloring Books
Scientifically speaking, coloring relaxes the fear center of your brain, the amygdala. This naturally calms the brain, which in turn, calms the body. It allows you to focus on the task at hand, but not at a stressful level. As you continue the practice of coloring, your brain starts to retrain itself to focus.
As you color, the rhythm of your strokes of the crayon across the paper and the soft focus of keeping inside of the lines, can put your mind into a meditative-like state that is beneficial to those with anxiety. The stress-relieving quality of coloring is the reason it is being used by the American Wounded Warrior program, as part of group therapy for veterans struggling with PTSD.
One study, showed that less than an hour of coloring had a cortisol-lowering effect on adult individuals. Cortisol, often called the stress hormone, prepares the body for a fight or flight response when the body has a sudden threat. This is important and beneficial, however cortisol can be detrimental to the body if produced in high levels over time.
Related post: The Link Between Science And Art
COVID-19 And Stress
As I write this, we are in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. School and many places of employment are closed. People are urged to shelter-in-place. As the crisis rolls on. there is evidence that isolation and uncertainty of the future are taking their toll on people. According to a recent Gallup poll completed in late March/early April 2020, “U.S. adults experiencing significant stress and worry on a daily basis have increased in an unprecedented manner compared with July-August 2019 — with stress rising 14 percentage points to 60% and worry rising 21 points to 59%”.
I could not find data for teens, although the Gallup poll age range started at 18. The stress-level and anxiety of teens is something we should be looking at, as well. In a teen’s normal, pre-pandemic life, they rarely have moments to relax. Their minds are constantly on high alert. From doing homework to playing video games to the constant snapchats to sports practice to the worry about the the next thing on their agenda, the mind of a teenager never calms down. They are in a constant state of stress.
Related post: Why Teach Kids About Mental Health
Even now, your teen may be isolated in their rooms with no school to go to, no practice to attend, and nothing on the agenda, but their minds are not calm. They are isolated from their friends, uncertain about the future just as much as adults….maybe even more so. They have missed out on milestone moments they will never have a chance to repeat. The stress and depression teens are facing is real.
Stress Relief Coloring Books
Whether adult or teen (young adult). stress and anxiety is alive an well in our society. Thankfully, there have some methods and techniques that can help lower the levels – coloring, for instance.
A good friend and artist, who is on furlough from her job because of the COVID-19 crisis, is at home educating her children and creating art that is benefiting her community. She has put together an amazing stress relief coloring book with 10 pages of beautiful, hand-drawn organic and abstract art ready for you to fill in with gorgeous color. She is currently selling these in print form in our local area, and the response has been wonderful. Adults and children are loving them.
I asked my friend if I could make Find Your Zen stress relief coloring book available to my readers in a PDF download format, and to my delight she said yes!! I want to bless you with her wonderful gift and help your family use coloring to help relieve your stress levels at this difficult time, plus I want to bless her and help her family while she is without a job! So, I am making these coloring books available for just $5!!
Purchase through the link below and a download link will be sent to your email!
We want to see your coloring pages! After you complete your coloring page, post it on Instagram and tag The Homeschool Scientist @homeschoolscientist. I can’t wait to see your art!