Why Color?

July 2015 Mandala of the Month

Over the last few months, a plethora of articles, stories, talks, etc about the value of coloring…especially for grown ups…have been popping up everywhere. They all confirm what I already knew intuitively and have been promoting since 2002. Now, thanks to these stories, I have the evidence to it back up.

Contemplation Mandala Coloring Book
Contemplation Mandala Coloring Book

THE BENEFITS

In the 13+ years since I’ve been coloring, creating my mandala coloring books, and encouraging more adults to color, I found the following benefits to be true for us grown-ups partaking in the creative activity of coloring (especially mandalas).

  • allows us to play in a fun, easy, and safe way
  • it’s portable (great for planes, trains, automobiles, waiting rooms, etc)
  • allows us to be creative without needing to know how to draw
  • freedom to color outside the lines
  • when we open ourselves to it, we can gain insights about issues/problems going on in our lives
  • relaxing/calming
  • can help lower your blood pressure
  • therapeutic for people in recovery (be in physical or mental health)
  • meditative
  • allows us to access our creative side, which in turn opens up our creative side in all aspects of our lives
  • improves focus and concentration
  • a balancing of left and right brains (check out Jill Bolte Taylor’s TED talk on her perspective of right/left brain balancing)
  • allows us to connect with our Higher Self
  • can help improve intuition
  • can help with energy clearings and chakra realignments
  • a way to receive guidance when setting intention as part of the coloring process
  • coloring in groups heightens all of the above

THE EVIDENCE

I included links to some of the videos and articles that support the value of coloring along with offering some interesting insights into this “coloring for grown-ups” phenomenon.

Video

Articles

  • 7 Coloring Books Calm Your MindSpirituality Health   [I would add that my 20 Mandala Coloring Books also offer this benefit 🙂 ]
  • For Adults, Coloring Invites Creativity and Brings ComfortNPR
    if offers “the combination of remembering the comforts of being a child while incorporating the creativity of an adult.”
  • Four Reasons Adults are Coloring NowTheColoringBook.club
  • Today’s coloring books aren’t for kids — they’re for grownups trying to combat stressMiami Herald (8/21/2015) “for most folks, coloring books perform a simple task: They allow you to relax and forget what stresses you out.”
  • Find Your Inner Child: Meditation Through ColoringYoga Journal (8/25/2015)
    “Focusing on a single task like coloring pushes aside worries and stressful thoughts, helping you to develop the one-pointed concentration you seek 
in meditation.”
  • Making Art is the New MeditationWashington Post (8/25/2015)
    “Creating art is a type of meditation, an active training of the mind that increase awareness and emphasizes acceptance of feelings and thoughts without judgment and relaxation of body and mind.”
  • Why Coloring Could Be The New Alternative To MeditationHuffington Post
    Basically, if you are looking for a way to find your inner zen while also exploring your artistic side, look no further. Coloring books are here to help. Your 5-year-old self would be so proud.
  • 3 reasons why all the adults you know have started coloring againUpworthy.com
    “Jung was a big fan of art therapy, and he used coloring as a relaxation technique back in the early 1900s. He even believed that the colors his patients chose reflected an expression of deeper parts of their psyche. Jung himself actually used to draw and color mandalas, or spiritual geometric shapes, every morning. These same mandalas are the foundation of a lot of the most popular stress-relieving coloring books today.”
  • Coloring Books for Existential AngstThe Atlantic Magazine
    A 2012 study in the journal Art Therapy found that art activities such as coloring mandalas significantly reduced anxiety.”
  • Coloring Isn’t Just For Kids. It Can Actually Help Adults Combat StressHuffington Post
    When coloring, we activate different areas of our two cerebral hemispheres, says psychologist Gloria Martínez Ayala. “The action involves both logic, by which we color forms, and creativity, when mixing and matching colors. This incorporates the areas of the cerebral cortex involved in vision and fine motor skills [coordination necessary to make small, precise movements]. The relaxation that it provides lowers the activity of the amygdala, a basic part of our brain involved in controlling emotion that is affected by stress.””
  • The New Joy of ColoringParade Magazine
    I’m a middle-aged woman who’s spending her evenings these days coloring. And I’m hardly alone. Others have caught on to the magical, mood-lifting power of their erstwhile childhood pastime, and together we’re giving rise to a craze unsurpassed since the days we had Donny Osmond fever.
  • Colouring Books For Adults A New Way to Relieve StressCBC News
    Colouring books for adults, which barely existed six months ago, have exploded as a trend with major publishers from several countries jumping on board.
  • Coloring Books For Adults are Flying Off the ShelvesBoston Globe
    The therapeutic effects of art on the human mind have been well documented. There is research suggesting, for instance, that coloring within a premade design may benefit individuals battling anxiety.
  • For Adults, Coloring Invites Creativity And Brings ComfortNPR
    Perhaps coloring for me, right now, offers something more than the benefits I’ve already described. Maybe it offers me the very mix I wasn’t able to value in my 20s: the combination of remembering the comforts of being a child while incorporating the creativity of an adult.
  • Anxious? Break Out the Coloring BooksEveryday Health
    Dr. Kimberly Wulfert: “In coloring, you’ve got this physical sensation of the tool you’re using touching on the paper. You also have the feeling in your hands and fingers holding this tool, and moving in different rhythms as you fill in the space,” she says, adding that “you’re being mindful, and when you move in a rhythmic fashion for an extended period of time, that becomes a meditation.
  • Can’t Meditate? Here’s Why You Should Try Art!Fulfillment Daily
    Moreover, art, like meditation, allows you to create space between ‘the thoughts’ and allows us to connect with our true selves – as opposed to with the fleeting/or false sense of identity we can get when we are caught up thoughts and emotions.”
  • The Mandala Art as Therapy ProjectJosh Kale
    A therapeutic exercise
  • 100 Excellent Art Therapy Exercises for your Mind, Body and SoulNursingSchools.net
    If you’re curious about what art therapy has to offer, you can try out some of these great solo exercises at home to help nurse your mind, body and soul back to health.
  • New coloring books for adults are good for your healthQuartz
    Psychologists told the Huffington Post that, by engaging multiple parts of the brain, coloring allows us to focus on the lines, movements, and colors in front of us, use our imaginations and be creative, and de-stress.
  • Albert Einstein Tells his Son the Key to Learn & Happiness is Losing Yourself in CreativityOpen Culture
    the reward for entering such a state is not the material benefits it generates, but the positive emotions. These, as Einstein theorized, not only motivate us to become better, but they also provide a source of meaning no amount of financial gain above a minimum level can offer.
  • Artist Goes Outside the Lines With Coloring Books for Grown-upsNPR
    The outlines are already there for you, so it’s just something that you can do quietly for a couple of hours that, you know, is hand-held and analog and quiet.
  • Making Art Tied to Fewer Cognitive Problems in Old AgePacific Standard
    But the behavior that had the greatest protective effect, at least in this relatively small study, was “artistic activity,” such as painting, drawing, and sculpting.
  • New adult coloring books bring childhood memoriesVictoria Advocate
    There is something cathartic about shutting out the world and coloring. As the page fills up with color, I feel a release of stress…Adult coloring books are a great way to bring out the kid in you without ending up with scraped knees or a sore back the next day. They are easy to transport and store, making them perfect for lunchtime down time. And the best part is that you no longer have anyone telling you to stay within the lines.
  • Why Adults Are Buying Coloring Books (for Themselves)The New Yorker
    The trend has been fuelled to some degree by social media…and by marketing that associates them with such therapeutic ends as anxiety- and stress-reduction. But it is also part of a larger and more pervasive fashion among adults for childhood objects and experiences.
July 2015 Mandala of the Month
July 2015 Mandala of the Month

A Better Idea

While you could take the time to check out these sites, I would highly recommend that you would be much better served by finding out for yourself…

Go Color!

joyfully, Maureen
www.TheMandalaLady.com

follow me on:
icon-facebook icon-twitter icon-instagram icon-pinterest icons-tumblr

1 Comment

Comments are closed.