Art Therapy vs. Therapeutic Coloring
Many who have experienced the calming effects of adult coloring have taken to referring to the practice as “art therapy.” However, that term is traditionally used to describe a mental health treatment facilitated by a professional art therapist who is trained in visual art as well as psychology and counseling techniques. Pretty different than coloring, right? But that doesn't mean there aren't benefits.
The Effects of Adult Coloring
In today’s day and age, many people find it hard to switch off their thoughts. Technology makes us so accessible to everything—work, other people, obligations—and that’s not a bad thing, but sometimes it can get overwhelming. It’s perfectly OK to take a break. Recently, coloring has become one of the most popular methods of relaxing.
For those with a lot of stress in their lives, or people suffering with anxiety, PTSD, ADHD or other struggles, adult coloring encourages concentration and mindfulness, allowing the brain to focus on one particular task at a time. People find the structure helpful for focus and engagement. This attention to detail, whether shape, size or color, impacts the same part of the brain that may stop anxiety-based imagery. Basically, it takes all the things a person may not like picturing or thinking about and helps them refocus on a more visually appealing, comfortable task. Studies also show that such attention to patterns and can make a positive, calming impact on heart rate and brain waves similar to that of meditation.
Will it Work for You?
It’s hard to say. What some people find calming or helpful for focusing, others don’t. But if it sounds like something you might be interested in, there are plenty of adult coloring books available for purchase in stores and online. If you’re not interested in buying a book and just want to try it out, take to Google! There are plenty of artists online offering free adult coloring pages you can download and print to test.
Other Options to Consider
Don’t see yourself coloring? That’s perfectly fine! Here are plenty of other activities that can render a similar effect.
- Listening to music
- Knitting or cross-stitching
- Going for a walk
- Home repair