Have you ever wondered why kids enjoyed coloring? I use to think it was a great way to keep them quiet. As a parent, it works in many ways. Those moments of quiet time while coloring is priceless! Unless your child prefers to talk and ask thousands of questions while coloring. If so, then that’s okay too! But overall coloring displays creativity, and almost all children are proud of their coloring once they are done. It’s nice to post it on the refrigerator or somewhere in your office. It’s a nice piece of art, despite what the end results may look like.
Years ago when I worked on a child inpatient psychiatric unit, our patients love to color. It was a way to start the day after they ate breakfast or during goals group. Coloring was a way to keep them calm and refrain from distractions. Most of the times the task worked, and other times it was challenging but overall, the patient’s enjoyed coloring. It was a good coping skill and most importantly it broke the ice especially when a new patient was admitted to the unit.
Some patients took their time, staying in the lines and outlining prior to shading in the photo, others colored carelessly, overall it was therapeutic to them and to some, it was quite rewarding. Shy patients became expressive by telling stories and others talked about social events. I was amazed of how a simple task gave the opportunity for children to express themselves emotionally.
There were times when I’d join in and color with them, it was easier to ask questions and engage in conversation whenever I participated in the same activity. Often times it made me think about my childhood days. I colored all the time when I was by myself. I remember when I was a kid, my uncle and I coloring pages from my coloring book on my grandma’s living room floor. His picture was neat because he stayed in the lines. The white photo came to life with vibrant colors. He shaded the picture perfectly and it wasn’t long before I compared my picture to his. Our conversation was minimum he asked me about school and common things an adult would ask an elementary student. My uncle passed a few years later it’s amazing how that moment stays in my mind til this day.
Who would think a simple task could be so soothing?
Stress is common and no one is exempt from it. We encounter stress at our jobs, schools, and personal life. Thoughts circulate in our brains throughout the day. If we don’t find an outlet it can be difficult to relax and sleep at night. Coloring takes you away from it all, from picking a page to color, to figuring out how you want to color your picture, the choice is yours. Coloring makes us focus on the task at hand instead of worrying about what’s going on in our life. I recently downloaded a coloring app to my phone. After coloring a photo, my mind was relaxed and it gave me a couple of moments to step away from whatever I was dealing with. Stress is hard to handle, but whenever we find a coping skill to relieve us from stress, even if it’s for a couple of minutes, it’s important to indulge in it. Needless to say, I saved the photo I colored to my screen saver. I try to make it an effort to color at least once a week. It may sound silly but it helps me especially when I am having a rough day.
I am all about MENTAL HEALTH. A lot is going on in the world we live in. Crime happens everyday, finances is at the forefront of everyone’s mind, and politics gives us a headache Ugh! It is vital to do what is necessary to ease our minds. According to Anxiety Disorder statistics, approximately40 million people suffer from Anxiety Disorders between the ages of 18 to 54. Mental Health is REAL! Depression affects more than 15 million adults starting at the age of 18. It’s clear to see how common depression and anxiety is. People become anxious at interviews, presentations, watching movies, going on new adventures, etc. Mental health disorders are common and mental health awareness is on a rise.
So with that being said…here are reasons why coloring should be mandatory in your life! You will thank me later, trust me.
* A great way to be social: coloring brings conversations. People can talk about anything, the weather, current events, and even stressors that occur in life. Doing something like coloring allows individuals to become relaxed and likely to be okay with conversing.
* Gears your mind to focus: when we are not focused our minds jumble. We have a difficult time navigating our thoughts. When this happens we become frustrated which causes us to complain and have self-doubt. When we don’t know how to focus mentally, it will show physically in our behaviors. Coloring enhances our organization and concentration skills. If you are having a bad day, take a moment to download a coloring app and enjoy!
* Presents control: we stress when we “lose control”. Even if you color for at least 5 to 10 minutes. That moment becomes yours because you obtain control over what you want to do with that blank picture. Coloring allows us to be ourselves and express how we feel.
* Calms you down: inhale…exhale as I mentioned earlier coloring promotes calmness. There is something about coloring that soothes our minds and takes away our anxiety. It replaces negative thinking into positive relaxing thoughts. The part of the brain coloring is our amygdala which controls our fight and flight response! There are so many adult coloring books you can purchase from stores like Wal-Mart and Target, or you can order them from Amazon. They range from different kinds of patterns, animals, holidays, floral photos and so much more. I think every adult should invest in some kind of coloring book. Coloring with children is also a fun task you can start conversations and spend quality time with the little ones. No matter if you are alone or with someone, coloring is a huge way to relieve stress.
Community Convo: What kind of photos do you like to color? Do you prefer to color alone or with people?
I would love to hear your response. Be sure to join the community conversation, I would love to hear from you.