[Happy Monday to you and welcome to the launch of Seize a Daisy. Although this site should be easily described by its title, for those who want a more detailed explanation please read About. And now, without further ado, below is the first post.]
Last November, while watching a cable channel, I saw my first commercial for adult coloring books. A smiling woman relaxing by coloring time away. The voiceover suggested what a perfect Christmas gift this would be. I felt my eyes roll in an “are you kidding?” mode and mentally filed adult coloring books in the same gag gift category as Chia Pets and The Clapper.
Of course the joke was on me as I soon learned that these coloring books were becoming quite the rage. In fact, mental health experts — including art therapists — claim the following coloring book benefits:
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 even 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 create2. 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 iPad, iPhone) and Colorfy (for Android) for you to color on your mobile.
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 free 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 positives of coloring, it’s almost impossible to resist grabbing some colored pencils and allowing your inner child to reach out, download (right click the image), and color away on Carpe Diem!