8 Adult Coloring Books to Reduce Social Anxiety

The Benefits of Adult Coloring: 10 Reasons to Color Yourself to Calm

8 Adult Coloring Books to Reduce Social Anxiety

Without thinking twice, I picked up a crayon and began to color in with my daughter. It was only after a couple of minutes that I sort of came to and realised that “this is actually really therapeutic”.

On the face of it, sitting there coloring in the hippos, crocodiles, sky and grass would seem kind of mindless for an adult – if done alone, that is – but in practice it's really mindful.

And adult coloring is really a thing. And it's hugely popular.

In fact, my brother's mother-in-law is doing it, and so is my next door neighbor. Adults from all walks of life are turning to coloring books as a form of stress release, therapy and just plain old fun.

But before you dismiss this colorful craze as silly, ‘just another fad' or for people with too much time on their hands, check out what researchers are saying about the power of art to improve emotional, mental and even physical health.

1. Relieve Stress

Researchers have discovered that coloring activities help relax the amygdala – the section of the brain that is activated in situations where you feel stressed or scared.

Simultaneously, coloring activates the parts of the brain that support creativity. A study conducted in 2005 by Nancy Curry and Tim Kasser found that those who colored in mandalas reported drastically decreased anxiety levels.

This is especially useful for those who suffer from constant anxiety or experience anxiety as a side effect of disorders PTSD or depression.

2. Exercise the Mind

As previously mentioned, coloring sparks brain activity and activates the parts of the brain responsible for creativity and logic.

Coloring is considered a good ‘mind exercise’ because it utilizes both sides of the brain’s cerebral cortex– an important system of control as it promotes motor skills and coordination.

When you color, you utilize the logic-based part of the brain through the choice of color or pattern. When you choose to pair or blend colors, you utilize the creative part of your brain. Coloring works out both brain hemispheres, so that’s a total win-win!

3. A Creative Meditation

Tried meditating the Eat, Pray, Love way and couldn’t get to grips with silent meditation? Fortunately, that’s not the only way to get centered.

Psychologist Carl Jung believed that coloring mandalas helped patients experience many of the benefits of meditation, inner calm and self realization.

Jung believed that the mandala pattern was a representation of the intricacy of ‘self,’ and noticed that many of his patients would doodle circle drawings.

He used the idea and the practice of coloring to promote wellness among his patients, noting that creating and coloring mandalas symbolized “a safe refuge of inner reconciliation and wholeness.”

4. Thought Swapping – Replace Patterns of Negative Thinking

Plagued by worries about your bills, your health, your family or your future? All of the above? Coloring may actually help replace patterns of negative thinking with more positive ones.

The focus that coloring necessitates makes concentrating on issues very difficult, and often when people color, their negative thought patterns abate.

The negativity is replaced with more positive thoughts when ‘colorists’ react favorably to the pairing of colors and the creative pattern.

Neuropsychologist Dr. Stan Rodski explained that coloring elicited real neurological effects, stating: “We started seeing changes in heart rate, changes in brainwaves…the most amazing things occurred.”

5. Self Soothe

Learning how to control your body’s stress activation system (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal system…phew!) is a vital component of mental and physical wellness.

Those who can influence how their bodies deal with trauma are much more resilient and have higher coping mechanisms.

Learning to self soothe during a period of trauma is essential to coping, and many are finding that coloring helps combat tough experiences without getting wrapped up in the accompanying emotions.

Researchers have found that coloring works in a variety of circumstances, one being debilitating illness.

A 2006 study by researchers at Thomas Jefferson University found that coloring and other art therapy was essential to reducing stress, anxiety and fear during women’s cancer treatment periods.

6. Make New Friends , Reduce Social Anxiety

That’s right. you can color and make new friends. Coloring has become so popular that coloring chapters are forming in some neighborhood and cities where avid ‘colorists’ are taking advantage of the phenomenon.

Though coloring is traditionally seen as a singular activity, these clubs seek to promote positive social interaction between members of the community.

It is particularly helpful for those who suffer from social anxiety, as they are able to interact meaningfully with new people without the pressure that often accompanies social gatherings.

=> Your next read: 25 Best Adult Coloring Books Ever

7. Walk the Middle Road for a While

Life today is a rat race of accomplishments, stress and competitions. This may be self evident, but coloring is a pretty low-pressure activity. There is no way to win, lose or even play the game.

Having an activity that takes the ‘middle road', that is not reliant on a time limit, a ‘correct’ answer or a competition is freeing and can be incredibly cathartic and restorative after a long day of work or stress.

8. Encourage Yourself to Be Present

It’s no secret that people today are distracted more than ever. With all of the hustle and bustle of everyday life and the notifications that *ding!* constantly from our phones and tablets, it can be hard to focus when you really need to. Coloring to the rescue!

An art therapy student from Lesley University recently attested to the increase in coloring books in her university lectures to help students focus.

She noted that in group therapy discussions, those who have issues concentrating often do better with the aid of a coloring book, stating “we have several adult coloring books at my site to offer the clients.”

9. Build Mental Strength

We know that coloring books can help release stress in tough situations, but coloring books can also train our brains, making us more efficient, logical and mentally strong.

That’s right. Coloring can actually make you sharper and healthier. Leslie Marshall, a clinical counselor, states that coloring “opens up the frontal lobe of the brain- the home of organizing and problem solving – and focuses the mind.”

This can improve reasoning abilities as coloring gives the brain a chance to focus selectively. Additionally, psychologist Gloria Martinez Ayala notes that coloring is so efficient in activating the cerebral cortex that the pastime can delay or prevent illnesses associated with aging, dementia.

10. An Easy Way to Relax & Have Some Simple Fun

Some may view coloring as frivolous, but when is the last time you sat down and did something just for the fun of it?

Coloring can act as your designated “me-time,” and also as a way to increase self esteem.

In fact, a 2012 study showed that participants in a drawing and painting class reported 80% increased confidence and motivation. Other studies have pointed to the role of art in positive self realization and self representation, as well as increased involvement in a community.

Over the past few years, coloring has evolved from a children’s pastime to a legitimate form of therapy and meditation.

If you want to give it a try…

=> Check out these adult coloring books on Amazon!

If nothing else, your life will be a little more colorful!

Источник: https://www.pocketmindfulness.com/coloring-for-adults/

Feeling stressed? An adult coloring book can help you relax

8 Adult Coloring Books to Reduce Social Anxiety

You may be running creative ways to keep yourself entertained, especially with this final stretch of social distancing. And if you're feeling a bit more stressed and antsy than usual, it's time to pick up a childhood favorite: coloring books.

«Coloring books have been shown to reduce stress and promote relaxation due to their inherent qualities, such as the ability to remain present and focused on the image and provide temporary relief from life stressors,» Martha Dorn of The Art Therapy Project, a nonprofit organization in New York that provides art therapy to trauma survivors, previously told Shop TODAY.

While Dorn noted that coloring books are not art therapy, she pointed out the therapeutic qualities of the books and their ability to help relieve stress. «Similarly, the images in coloring books are premade, so the creative energy is placed into the catharsis of repetitive coloring strokes to complete the image,» she explained.

To help ease your mind and help relieve stress during these trying times, we rounded up some of the best adult coloring books. Sit back, relax and enjoy a little creativity!

1. The Mindfulness Coloring Book

This book is full of soothing patterns and simple prints that you can mindlessly fill in without feeling overwhelmed by the intricacies of staggering designs offered in other books.

2. Adult Coloring Book: Stress Relieving Patterns

While we're sure any coloring book can help alleviate stress, the designs in this one were designed to reduce stress. Just pick up your favorite colored pencils and enjoy!

3. Calm the F*ck Down: An Irreverent Adult Coloring Book

This coloring book is a tad more R-rated, but sure to bring on some laughter. It's filled with funny illustrations that include insults and yes, «bad» words.

4. The Really Relaxing Colouring Book for Adults

If you're less interested in laughing and more interested in self-soothing, this relaxing coloring book for adults is for you. Switch off and let your creativity loose in the flow of floral illustrations!

5. Coffee is My Best Friend

The next best thing to drinking coffee is coloring it! This book is perfect for coffee lovers — it's filled with endless pages of arabica beans and coffee-related things. Sadly caffeine-free, this book is bound to calm you down when you need it.

6. «Harry Potter» Coloring Book

What's better than having a «Harry Potter» movie marathon? Relaxing with a «Harry Potter» coloring book while watching all of your favorite movies!

7. Lost Ocean: An Inky Adventure and Coloring Book

This adult coloring book by Johanna Basford, who is known for her intricate designs, will take you beneath the waves and deep into the ocean. Each page includes beautiful illustrations of exotic fish, coral reefs, barnacle-studded shipwrecks, pirate treasure and more.

8. Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest and Coloring Book

Another creative and fun option from Basford is her classic Enchanted Forest coloring book. The whimsical adult coloring books is a fan-favorite due to its quality pages and beautiful prints.

9. The Calm Adult Coloring Book

This calming coloring book is chock-full of fun illustrations and «lovely images to set your imagination free.» You'll feel relaxed and fresh in no time.

10. How Aunts Swear

Although the title may seem family member-specific, this book is full of the «clean» versions of foul words that are sure to get a good chuckle you. Just grab your favorite coloring pens — and a glass of wine — and relax!

11. Stress Relieving Designs

This adult coloring book is a perfect pick for animal lovers. It's full of many intricate designs, so it might bode well to use this one if you have the time to dedicate to coloring in the lines.

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This article was published on Aug. 2, 2019.

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Источник: https://www.today.com/shop/best-adult-coloring-books-relaxation-t157709

3 Reasons Adult Coloring Can Actually Relax Your Brain

8 Adult Coloring Books to Reduce Social Anxiety

Adult coloring books have flooded shelves everywhere in the last few years. From grocery stores to your favorite online retailer, these books — with their empty patterns of mandalas, animals and floral designs — seem to be everywhere. But what makes them so popular?

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Many books tout the benefits of coloring — a thing kiddos have known for ages. Coloring can help you channel your inner artist, de-stress and bring a sense of peace. But is there truly a benefit to coloring for adults? And what does this pastime do to our brains to bring about such pleasure and calm?

According to clinical psychologist Scott M. Bea, PsyD, it has everything to do with refocusing our attention. 

“Adult coloring requires modest attention focused outside of self-awareness, Dr. Bea says. “It’s a simple activity that takes us outside ourselves in the same way, cutting the lawn, knitting or taking a Sunday drive can all be relaxing.”

What does adult coloring do to relax people?

Dr. Bea cites three reasons adult coloring can be calming:

  1. Attention flows away from ourselves. A simple act, such as coloring, takes your attention away from yourself (and those things that are stressing you out!) and onto the present-moment event. “In this way, it is very much a meditative exercise,” Dr. Bea says.
  2. It relaxes the brain. When thoughts are focused on this simple activity, your brain tends to relax. “You’re not disturbed by your own thoughts and appraisals,” he says. “The difficulties of life evaporate from your awareness, and both your body and your brain may find this rewarding.”
  3. Low stakes make it pleasurable. Go ahead: color outside the lines! The outcome of coloring isn’t predictable or prescriptive. It can be as neat — or as messy — as you choose, and this is one of its relaxing perks. “It is hard to screw up coloring, and, even if you do, there is no real consequence. Adult coloring can be a wonderful escape, rather than a demanding test of our capacities,” he adds. 

Why does it help some people but not others?

Adult coloring doesn’t relax everyone. Whether or not you enjoy coloring depends a lot on your prior experiences. Dr. Bea suspects that if you enjoyed coloring as a child, you ly will enjoy it as an adult. 

“Adults typically choose forms of activities they loved as children for their adult recreations,” he says.

Is there research to support it as a form of relaxation?

Research on adult coloring specifically is limited, as it has risen in popularity relatively recently. However art therapy has been used for many years with much success.

In a 2006 study, researchers found that mindfulness art therapy for women with cancer helped to significantly decrease the symptoms of physical and emotional distress during their treatment. Art therapy has also been helpful to people coping with other conditions, including depression, anxiety, addictions and trauma.

In a more recent study, researchers evaluated the effectiveness of coloring a complex geometric design, a mandala, on reducing anxiety with a group of undergraduate students. The results showed a decrease in anxiety levels for the students and suggested the practice created a sort of meditative state that is beneficial for reducing anxiety. 

“While adult coloring may differ slightly from mindfulness art therapy, I suspect the adult coloring would yield similar results. It is ly that its therapeutic benefits would be similar to listening to a person’s favorite music,” Dr. Bea says.

Having hobbies to help de-stress is nothing new, whether people to golf, cook, build model airplanes or put together scrap books. 

But with the current state of daily life with COVID-19, and so many uncertainties looming in the distance, coloring might just be the ticket to help you unwind and re-center.  

“We have a very stress-inducing culture, and I think individuals are always seeking new ways to reduce tension, restore feelings of well-being, and reduce the toll that our stressful lives take on our health,” Dr. Bea says.

Источник: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/3-reasons-adult-coloring-can-actually-relax-brain/

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