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.