Color Yourself Happy

Adult coloring books

I was thrilled when Allie told me she was doing a blog post on coloring for stress relief! It’s something I have done for years, and it never ceases to help me feel relaxed and refreshed. While friends have found relaxation in knitting, crocheting and jigsaw puzzles, those things left me feeling frustrated. But coloring? Coloring is something I can get lost in quite happily. I hope you can, too!
— Bethe

When we polled members back in 2013 about their number one health concern, we were not surprised to hear it was stress. And everywhere that we go to a conference or have the opportunity to interact with people, stress and stress management always comes up. Some would say stress is the disease of modern day life, and who could argue? So it would seem that learning how to better manage stress and put positive coping methods in our personal bag of tricks should be at the top of everyone’s To Do List.

Tidbit coloring

Our Associate Executive Director Bethe Almeras is no stranger to coloring…neither is her cat Tidbit!

Maybe going for a jog or lighting some lavender candles around a bath is your preferred method of stress relief, but have you thought about coloring? Yes, coloring – as an adult. It is slowly becoming the new trend in stress release and artistic outlet for adults – and for good reason!

Now, I am not artistic. Coloring, though? I can handle that. And, the finished pieces give me a sense of actually being artistic, because the designs were so pretty to begin with. I just added some personality through colored pencils. Plus the finished products give me a sense of accomplishment. I know, that might seem silly, but it’s true. And feeling good about something always leaves me, well – feeling good.

Coloring can provide you with many benefits, including:

  • Stress relief – the simple act of putting colored pencil (or crayons and markers!) to paper can help you de-stress. It allows you to focus on an activity and details outside of yourself instead of focusing on your worries, according to the Huffington Post. It also lets you reconnect with your childhood and can be considered an “active meditation.” There is even a whole field of work dedicated to art therapy, helping people cope with issues through art, including coloring.
  • Unlocking creativity – maybe you don’t consider yourself an artist (I know I’m not!), but coloring allows you to use your imagination, combine color schemes, use shading techniques and make patterns in a way that is able to help unlock your inner creativity. It can also help teach you about art through filling in the details of a picture.
  • completed coloring book page

    One of my coloring creations.

    Enhancing fine motor skills and focusing the mind – as a hobby, coloring promotes the eye-hand coordination that we worked so hard on improving when we were children. This can be good as we age, too, helping prevent cognitive decline. Much like working puzzles, coloring can aid in keeping our minds sharp as we age.

  • Spending more time with your children or grandchildren (if you have any, and if they’re of the “right” age to color – although there really isn’t a wrong age) – participate in coloring time with your children or students to set an example of a fun activity that doesn’t involve a screen. This can be an especially good activity on rainy days when they can’t go outside to play.
  • Having fun! Let’s face it, most of us could use more fun in our lives, and coloring is just that. Pick patterns and subjects that appeal to you – into birds, architecture, classic cars or tropical fish? You can find adult coloring books on all of those things and more.

So grab some gorgeous-hued pencils and join us in the coloring trend! You’ll find yourself more relaxed in no time, and feeling more creative and inspired too. Click here to download some free coloring pages, or visit your favorite book store or online retailer to find adult coloring books that catch your eye.

Happy coloring!

2 Comments

Lloyd Stableford

Thanks for the information about the positive attributes of coloring. If one Goggles “adult coloring books,” there are in excess of 2,400,000 hits! I would suggest linking to a book sellers website and checking on the comments of others who have used a specific coloring book. There are so many adult coloring books out there so the first time buyer can certainly benefit from the experiences of others.

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Bethe Almeras

That’s a great suggestion, Lloyd! We’ve had a good discussion over on our Facebook page about coloring and colored pencils, in particular. The two companies that I tend to buy coloring books by are Creative Haven and Adult Coloring Book Artists, both available on Amazon. Happy coloring – Bethe

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