As long as I’ve been coloring due to my own grief from the loss of my sister, I have felt it release my stress and help me heal from many aspects in my life, not just grief. I’ve been coloring daily for 27 years, and we’re now hearing that coloring is actually beneficial to releasing stress and affecting our brains in a positive way. What’s really cool for me is that I’ve been nurturing my brain while coloring all of these years! An extraordinary added benefit that came with coloring all these years!
How Can Coloring Relieve Stress?
Coloring really does activate our brains since there is a movement action which connects our brain to our body. There are many studies today showing the results of how coloring shifts our brain in different ways. “Coloring is said to calm the amygdala, the part of the brain related to the fear/stress response while stimulating the parts of the brain responsible for creativity and logic. A 2005 study documented a reduction in anxiety in subjects after a short time of coloring geometric patterns. In fact, coloring therapy is being used experimentally for those with anxiety and stress related disorders. Some people report sleeping better when coloring for even 5 minutes before bedtime.” (From Wellness Mama)
Coloring activities activate both parts of the cerebral hemisphere
According to psychologist Gloria Martinez Ayala, the action of coloring involves both logic and creativity. When we use logic to pick up a color for a particular shape or pattern, we activate the analytical part of the brain. On the other hand, when we choose to mix and match colors, we activate the creative side of the brain. This helps incorporate both areas of the cerebral cortex which control vision and help with coordination and fine motor skills. (This is a great article overall, all 10 reasons are amazing and will inspire you to color.)
Take Your Coloring to the Next Level
Does it matter what you color? It does if you’re coloring for healing. I’m a huge advocate for coloring anything from a unicorn in a kid’s coloring book to a doodle in your journal. But for those of us utilizing coloring as a means to heal difficult emotions, release negativity and empower our intentions, there’s MINDFUL COLORING!! By choosing a meaningful word while holding an intention while we color, we can actually feel the healing while we color. It’s a simple process. Just hold what it is that you need in your mind (a prayer, healing or a miracle), then start coloring as if it’s a meditation. Be silent, calm and peaceful by keeping your breathing deep and slow.
The most important key to receiving all of the amazing benefits of mindful coloring is consistency. It really needs to be a daily habit, even if it’s five minutes. The consistency is where the healing is, and it’s where the change occurs for the brain, for stress, anxiety, and depression.
Take the next 21 days to color and notice how you feel. When it becomes a habit you’ll find yourself coloring everyday without much thought and you’ll feel amazing!