Psychologists Say Coloring Is The Best Alternative To Meditation

By Jyotsana Rao

Coloring is typically a hobby that we think only toddlers would enjoy. But what if it turns out that it is beneficial for adults as well?

As per new studies, psychologists found out that coloring is a low stress activity that helps individuals unlock their inner potential by reminding them of their childhood memories when things were simpler.  And yes, coloring has even been compared closely to meditation.

Well, there is a long history behind mentally unsound people engaging in the activity of coloring. Carl Jung, a famous psychologist, used to involve his patients in coloring mandalas as a way of getting them to focus on something and to control the subconscious; at least for some time.

Image: Shutterstock

Psychologist Antoni Martínez also explained that we can use this coloring treatment to enter into a more creative state. Practice it in a quiet environment and light music and let your colors flow with beautiful thoughts!

Does Coloring Really Help In De-Stressing?

As per the technique of Jung, coloring inside the mandalas in circular designs and inside concrete geometrical shapes activates different areas of the brain. The technique requires both – logic, as well as creativity. Coloring in geometrical shapes involves logic whereas mixing and matching of colors involves creativity.

The combination of logic and creativity activates the areas of cerebral cortex and the relaxation that it provides lowers the activity in amygdalae; i.e. the part of brain that control emotions.

In short, we achieve a de-stressing effect because we solely focus on a particular activity that is actually fun to do. We just focus on it and nothing apart from it. Plus, it reminds you of your childhood days, a period where you had no, or a lot less, stress.

According to a survey, out of Amazon’s 20 best sellers, the top list includes 6 adult coloring books. As a result, this is actually a sign that coloring technique actually works!

While working on the survey, we also went through the review section on Amazon to check what people really think about buying coloring books and their experiences. Some of the users quoted:

Coloring is the best way to keep stress away; it also keeps medicines away!

Another reader quoted:

I always loved coloring as a kid but I never thought that I would feel the same after growing up. After trying it, I was not disappointed at all. Just after coloring for a few minutes, I felt so relaxed that I was fresh and ready to face whatever challenge came my way!”

Some doctors also offer this option to families of patients as well. A doctor commented:

I have started placing adult coloring books and some crayons in the waiting room of my hospital so that the patients or their families can use the coloring book while waiting and de-stress themselves a bit.”

People feel that it helps in reducing their stress to such an extent that they are even getting off medication. Yeah, that means results for sure!

Are you going through tough days at work? Feel free to take out the crayons and start coloring. Time to rediscover your inner kindergartener and let the colors and the lines flow!

Hope you liked this post. Please share your views in the comments box below.

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Jyotsana Rao is an engineering graduate from NIT, Nagpur, who discovered her love for writing during her undergraduate days. She... more

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