One of my all-time favorite memories as a child was getting a new box of crayons. Everything about it was wonderful: the vivid colors, the new smell, the way they felt on the coloring sheets. Now that I am an adult, I find that not much has changed. I love to sit and color. It takes me back to my carefree days, and I find that I’m not alone in this unorthodox method of de-stressing.
For many years, therapists have recognized art as a way to relieve patient’s emotional and physical distress. Oftentimes, life can be overwhelming and words can fail us when we try to convey our turbulent or strong emotions. Coloring can provide an outlet for all of these things we cannot seem to express, be they joyful or of sorrow.
In another study, adult coloring books have been observed to have a very similar effect to meditation. Once involved in completing their picture, the person coloring can block out internal and external negativity and focus on the moment, on the movement of pencil or crayon on paper. People diagnosed with anxiety and/or ADHD had been observed in multiple studies as being less fidgety, calmer, and much more able to pay attention to the task at hand.
While obviously not a cure-all for any condition, this bit of nostalgia can be used as a balm to the adult mind plagued with adult problems.
I am a huge supporter of Starbucks and their amazing selection of coffee and coffee related products, but when news came about that they were using crushed beetles, yes, crushed beetles in their strawberry and red colored products, I almost got sick to my stomach. Don’t fret, not everyone has been drinking these beetles, just those of you who have been drinking their strawberry drinks and smoothies, eating their red velvet pies or cake pops, and snacking on their pink colored pies.
Now let’s get down to the facts. There are these exotic beetles that when frozen and crushed make a red liquid that the FDA has even approved. Starbucks, along with many other companies and manufactures including cosmetic brands, yogurt companies, and even ice cream makers, have been using this dye material for quite some time. Recently Starbucks was petitioned (thank God) by a group of Vegans and Vegetarians. Now Starbucks claims that by the end of June they will have replaced the beetle based dye in their products with a tomato based product. It’s hard to believe all of this, but it’s all too true. Now only is it gross and sickening to think about, but it’s very inhumane to take thousands, possibly millions, of beetles and just grind them up into a juice for us to enjoy at around $5 a cup at our local Starbucks. I am just glad to hear that Starbucks is doing something to change this, though it does make you wonder what is in all of the food we eat and drink, doesn’t it?