By Katie Cardner
As a young adult, I am constantly torn between two different identities: being young, and being an adult. Life seemed so much better when my days were spent playing hide-and-seek with my friends, taking a midday nap, and drinking as much apple juice as I wanted. Most of my favorite activities I did as a child would be frowned upon as an adult. Luckily for me, recent studies are showing that there is one childhood activity that has major health benefits for adults, too.
Over the past year, there has been a huge emergence of adult coloring books. Although coloring may feel like fun and games, it has actually been proven to have significant benefits for our health. Here is a breakdown of what coloring can do for you:
TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE
Coloring has been shown to decrease stress levels in adults in many different ways. The act of coloring reminds our brains of simpler times. Relating back to childhood allows our brains to relate to a time when we experienced much less stress.
IMPROVES BRAIN FUNCTION
When we color, we are focused on two different things. One of which is staying in the lines (or at least trying to). This function allows the left side of our brains to do analytical thinking. On the other end, choosing different colors to make patterns and designs taps into our creative thinking, which is accomplished by the right side of the brain. A study published in 2013 found that using both sides of our brain simultaneously can improve the connection between both hemispheres. It has been noted that evolutionists like Albert Einstein had a stronger connection between both hemispheres of his brain than the average man.
HELPS DEVELOP MEDITATIONAL TENDENCIES
Meditation has been known to have significant health benefits for thousands of years. To put it simply, meditation is the art of doing nothing; letting your brain be completely still. Coloring helps us tap into that practice. When coloring, we are only able to focus on what is in front of us, blocking out all other thoughts and distractions.
Coloring allows us to relax. We are able to express our moods through the colors we choose, which allows us to understand our emotions. Many therapists today require patients to spend time coloring before starting their typical treatment.
So pull out your crayons and act like a kid again! Not only will you have a great time, but you may just start to feel more colorful yourself.