Why Do Adults Color in Coloring Books?
Why Do Adults Color in Coloring Books?
Everyone deals with varying levels of stress from their home life, work, and other sources. Teachers are no exception.
Many teachers become teachers because they love learning. However, a study conducted from 2007 to 2012 by the National Education Association (NEA) found that nearly 20% of new teachers quit after five years because of stress. Teachers face stress from low salaries, school administration, parents, resources, and more.
Since 2012, the world has only gotten more stressful: a recent study by NEA found that 28% (almost a third) of teachers planned to retire early because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A skill we don’t teach in school (but should) is stress management.
There are many ways to manage stress effectively, and these ways vary from person to person. However, no one knows how to relax and destress as children do, so maybe it’s time we take a cue from them and try out coloring.
Many adults find coloring relaxing. Over the past several years the market for adult coloring has boomed. If you’re feeling stressed, you may want to give this a shot: there is scientific evidence that it will work!
The Benefits of Coloring
There are so many benefits to coloring, that I can’t list them all. Coloring has been found to improve mental health, increase focus, and bring back positive childhood memories.
Coloring Reduces Stress, Anxiety, and Depression
No wonder kids are so relaxed and easygoing! Numerous studies have found that coloring is a great way to alleviate stress and handle anxiety and depression. This is because coloring relaxes the amygdala: the fear center of your brain.
One study in 2019 found that students at a university who colored before a test (the control group did a non-coloring activity) were less anxious and more mindful for their exam.
And coloring isn’t just a great idea for stressed students. A teacher, Diane Cole, has found coloring extremely helpful in alleviating her depression and in connecting with her class. Art has such a therapeutic effect that it’s often used to help people recover from many different kinds of illnesses.
Coloring Increases Focus
The psychologist, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, believes coloring (and other creative activities) has a therapeutic effect on people because it increases focus.
After watching artists forget to sleep or eat to complete their work (and be happy with it), he decided to study the relationship between high focus and happiness. He found that people who absorb themselves in a task generally have an increased sense of self. They find satisfaction in what they are focusing on.
It seems a bit counterintuitive. Usually, we associate high focus with high stress. However, focusing on coloring does what focus on non-artistic tasks cannot – it gives us a break from our thoughts and helps us stay present. Coloring is another form of meditation and comes with all the benefits.
At the end of the day, your coloring pages aren’t for someone else to approve of, nor do they represent you to other people. It doesn’t matter if you color outside of the lines, decide to make the animals the wrong colors, or anything else. Focusing on something that puts you momentarily in a world you created lets you take a break from real life and helps relax your brain.
Coloring Increases Collaboration Between Both Hemispheres of the Brain
Coloring is an activity that requires the focus of both halves of your brain. The right side makes the calls on what colors to use and in what order. The left side labors over the organization and motor skills.
Coloring gives you a full mental workout. It allows you to use a side of your brain that you may not use as often in tandem with the side you’re very comfortable with.
For example, if your job is highly left-brain focused, then coloring gives you a chance to exercise the right side while still being in touch with the left side.
Furthermore, by working both sides of the brain simultaneously, you can get used to using all of your brain. And then you can apply that to other places in your life.
Coloring Brings Back Good Memories
For most people, coloring is a nostalgic activity. Coloring certainly takes me back to when I was little and had much less to worry about. Coloring makes me think of chocolate chip cookies and snuggling up to a warm fireplace in the winter.
It’s nice to have an activity that brings back positive emotions. It helps replace negative that may be taking center stage.
The Take Home
Practicing good self-care is key to being happy and feeling successful. Coloring is a great way to help destress and refocus yourself. If you’ve never done it, give it a shot! You just might be surprised by the effects.
Teacher Power Cares
Although extremely rewarding, being a teacher is hard, stressful work! No one would be who they are today without the support, care, and instruction from teachers.
That’s why it’s so important to ensure that teachers have what they need to maintain their energy and manage their physical and mental health. With a variety of flavors, you can’t go wrong with Teacher Power’s energy drinks! Tasty and sugar-free, these products help keep your energy levels up to put a little pep in your step. And with the holidays coming, Teacher Powers products make a great and much-appreciated teacher gift.
Keep reading our blog to see more articles on ways to improve your mental and physical health and try out our products to see what you’ve been missing!
The content of Teacher Power’s website is for information only, not advice or guarantee of outcome. Information is gathered and shared from reputable sources; however, Teacher Power is not responsible for errors or omissions in reporting or explanation. No individuals, including those taking Teacher Power products, should use the information, resources or tools contained within to self-diagnosis or self-treat any health-related condition. Teacher Power gives no assurance or warranty regarding the accuracy, timeliness or applicability of the content.
By: Emeline Haroldsen
Flannery, Mary Ellen. “Safety Concerns Over COVID-19 Driving Some Educators Out of the Profession”. NEA. 2020. https://www.nea.org/advocating-for-change/new-from-nea/safety-concerns-over-covid-19-driving-some-educators-out
Long, Cindy. “Teacher Turnover Is Much Lower Than You Probably Think”. NEA. 2015. https://www.nea.org/advocating-for-change/new-from-nea/teacher-turnover-much-lower-you-probably-think
Dana Carsley MEd & Nancy L. Heath PhD. “Effectiveness of mindfulness-based coloring for university students’ test anxiety” Journal of American College Health. 2020. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30908136/
Pamisa, Mia. “Medical Research Points to Coloring Helping with Depression”. Colorit. 2018. https://www.colorit.com/blogs/news/does-coloring-help-with-depression
“Health Benefits of Coloring for Adults”. Beaumont. https://www.beaumont.org/health-wellness/blogs/health-benefits-of-coloring-for-adults
“3 Reasons Adult Coloring Can Actually Relax Your Brain”. Cleveland Clinic. 2020. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/3-reasons-adult-coloring-can-actually-relax-brain/
Kristenson, Sarah. “10 Therapeutic Effects of Using Adult Coloring Books”. Happier Human. 2021. https://www.happierhuman.com/benefits-adult-coloring/
“How Adult Coloring Relieves Stress”. Art Therapy Coloring. 2020. https://arttherapycoloring.com/how-adult-coloring-books-relieve-stress/