Coloring to De-stress
By Kaitlin Lertora
Any college student can relate to the overwhelming feeling of stress before finals week or the unnerving process of creating a resume. Most people seem to have their niche in terms of eliminating stress—working out, hiking, watching a movie, reading a book, binging on ice cream (which is what I typically do). However, if you’ve been into a book store or any chain retailer, you might have noticed different styles of “adult coloring books” on display, as people have been calling them. They have exploded in popularity and have been proven to decrease the amount of stress in a person’s life.
This “therapeutic” style of art has become applicable to people of any age, even those who don’t particularly consider themselves artists. Studies have shown the positive mental healing properties that this style of coloring has on people with mental illnesses, chronic diseases, and physical and emotional trauma. Art therapy has been around for a long time and many people are unaware of the remedial effects of this therapy. There have been dozens of articles written about the utilization of art therapy books in correlation to cancer treatments. Patients generally become anxious or depressed during their continual chemotherapy sessions however, after partaking in of art therapy, they seem to have an overall calmer demeanor.
Additionally, professors have begun to welcome coloring books into the classroom after observing the calming effects on undergraduates who become fidgety during lecture. Not only are these coloring books cheap (which should be music to most college students’ ears), but they leave you will some beautiful artwork to hang around your dorm or apartment. They can even be a nice gift to give a loved one.
Coloring is notorious for stimulating the creative side of a person’s brain. For children, coloring is beneficial because it simultaneously forces them to focus while provoking an overall sense of well-being. For adults, coloring can trigger a creative side that a person wasn’t previously aware of. Coloring can tremendously help a person’s sense of self-expression. They can use coloring to portray their current mood, based on the colors they choose. The templates included in these coloring books range from floral designs to intricate patterns to holiday themed ones. Ultimately, the possibilities are endless as long as you have some colored pencils and time on your hands.
Try it yourself!