HEALTH CENTER

strip

Coloring Isn’t Just for Kids by Megan Goslee, LVN

Megan-smallerColoring has always been a childhood favorite, but recent studies have shown it’s not just fun or beneficial for kids; recently adults have been putting their coloring skills to good use as a way to unwind from a long stressful day.

According to clinical psychologist Ben Michaelis, coloring is a stress-free activity that relaxes the amygdala (pronounced a-mig-da-la). Amygdala is the integrative center for emotions, emotional behavior and motivation in your brain. Located deep within the temporal lobe of the brain, a person’s amygdala is part of the limbic system, which is responsible for memory and emotions such as fear and anger.  Proven by scientists, coloring allows a person’s emotion of fear and anger to relax.  Giving your amygdala periodic rests from fear and anger, your overall stress can actually become reduced.

Did you know that a lot of doctors are actually “prescribing” coloring books? Patients that suffer from anxiety, substance abuse issues, obsessive-compulsive disorders, stress disorders, depressive disorders, and even PTSD are now turning to adult coloring books to help cope.

crayons aprilAs children, we didn’t have as many responsibilities and stresses that we now have as adults. As kids we would often do something for the pure joy of it and not because we “had” to. Coloring utilizes both the left and right hemispheres of the brain. When we are thinking about balance, color choices, applying colored pencil to paper, we are working on problem solving and fine motor skills, just like when we were children.

According to Nielsen’s Total Audience Report, Americans aged 18 and older spend more than 11 hours a day watching TV, listening to the radio or using smartphones and other electronic devices. ELEVEN HOURS A DAY! Coloring is a great way to unplug your mind and just have some peace and quiet. So what are you waiting for? Buy a coloring book and colored pencils and start relaxing today!

Next time you’re feeling stressed out, simply pick up a coloring book and give your brain a break, be free!

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.