I was 20 years old when my love affair with coloring was re-ignited. Just about to fly home on a 14 hour flight from New Zealand, I was in the airport book store looking for a magazine to pass some hours when my eye was caught by an intriguing looking coloring book. I thought to myself: 14 hour flight....why not try coloring? Armed with a box of pencil crayons and not really expecting my interest to last long, I fastened my seat belt as the plane began its take-off. Thinking full well that the coloring would only last a few minutes before I was lured into the mega-selection of in-flight movies, I was curiously surprised when 30 minutes passed...then an hour...and then 2 hours and I had not even checkout out the movie selection! I had finished my first page in my brand new coloring book and still had 12 hours of flying time left. The rest of the flight passed quickly and gloriously. My love for coloring has only deepened, and here are the reasons why.
So why the fascination, and how can they help you? In the most basic sense, the act of applying colored media to intricate line drawings is a benefit to relaxation and stress reduction. You are able to put the outside world aside for the moment and focus on the art of coloring singularly. Studies have shows that anxiety levels dropped in adults that colored. They did note that simple doodling had no affect on anxiety. The focus on coloring and switching off the brain allows that blocking of anxiety in the moment. Coloring does not have a need for complicated thought processes and like listening to calming music, you are able to get within yourself, isolated from external anxiety, commotion, and distractions.
Coloring is a great way to bond. Ask your friends over for some wine, cheese and coloring. Perhaps at first they might look at you with skeptical eyes and doubt; but hand over a fresh sheet of paper, some vibrant or glitter colored pens and in just minutes you will not be able to pry those colors out of their fingers. Soon you will be visiting easily, looking over at each-others masterpieces from time to time to admire their selection of colors. You will begin to feel like you have time-traveled back into grade 2 and you do not really want to leave. Coloring is freeing and has no expectations. The beautiful thing about this craft is that there is no pressure to finish, to use a certain color or even to stay in the lines!!! There is absolute freedom involved in those precious hours where you just get to color.