Recently, I attended a TEDx event, and as soon I walked inside the convention center, I noticed a large table with a stack of paper in the middle, and to my surprise, colored pencils. A large crowd was gathered around the table, and people took turns filling the design on their paper with a variety of colors. I hadn’t colored in years, but joined in and was amazed at how different all of our pictures looked when completed.
Although I haven’t colored again since the Tedx event, it turns out that coloring has become a recent craze among adults.
Here are 8 unexpected things that happen when you start coloring.
1. You’ll unleash your creativity
Coloring helps spark creativity. When you color, you can ignite your imagination. Since it’s out of your normal routine, coloring can help you think of new ideas and gain new insights. You can choose to fill in an existing outline with splashes of color, or you can color on blank pieces of paper. You can stay within the lines or color all over the page. Coloring allows you to tap into your inner artist and create.
2. You’ll enjoy it anywhere, at any time
Coloring is a cost-effective form of relaxation. It is much less expensive than a massage, and no appointment is necessary. You can color anywhere. No paper or colored pencils? Not a problem. There are even coloring book apps such as Colorfy for you to color on your mobile.
You might not be able to break out your coloring books during your work day, but don’t let that stop you from getting some of the benefits from coloring at work. David Wagner has suggestions for infusing coloring into your work day. He writes, “If you can’t get away with pulling out the coloring books, I want you to pull out the colored markers and hand-draw, in color, your data center, your network, your org charts — anything.”
3. You’ll improve your concentration
Coloring requires concentration and attention to detail. Practicing concentrating on coloring sheets until their completion can improve your productivity in other areas of your life.
4. You’ll experience similar benefits to meditation
The benefits of coloring have been known by the medical field for years. It is reported that Carl Jung, a psychiatrist, prescribed coloring for his patients in the early 1900s, often using a mandala design as a template. Here are some printable mandalas for you to color. When coloring, you’ll practice mindfulness and be fully present in the moment. You’ll slow down from your rushed day.
5. You’ll improve your motor skills
Coloring requires the use of fine motor skills, the movements involving the small muscles of the fingers. Performing the small movements required to color also improves coordination and hand strength.
6. You’ll find it may help decrease stress and anxiety
“Relief and healing can come from time out,” says Lucy Mucklow, an art therapist who designs and sells coloring books for adults. Another art therapist, Marti Faist, describes the benefits of coloring, stating, “I’ve watched people under acute stress, almost panic-attack levels, color and have their blood pressure go down very quickly.”
7. You’ll decrease negative thoughts
When you color, you focus on choosing various colors, then filling in the areas of a design. Focusing on specific tasks can help redirect your mind from negative thoughts. Having less self-defeating thoughts can greatly improve your life.
8. You’ll have the satisfaction of completing a project
Finishing your coloring project can give you a sense of pride. The feeling of accomplishment from completing your work can boost self-esteem.
With all the benefits of coloring, it’s time to grab some colored pencils and let your inner kindergartener get to work.
Featured photo credit: sondem via shutterstock.com