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Three Surprising Yet Worthwhile Benefits of Coloring As an Adult

Not only is coloring fun, but it’s also extremely affordable – all you need is a coloring book and your choice of crayons, markers, or colored pencils. These stress relievers have taken off in popularity for adults, too, in recent years, due in no small part to the science backing the activity. Adult coloring books are a great way for grown-ups to express their inner artist and relieve stress, and since coloring is a mindful activity, it helps you focus on the moment, and not worry about the future. Check out these other benefits of coloring as an adult below!

Looking at color may reduce pain and anxiety.

Ever heard of art therapy? At its core, art therapy is therapy rooted in the healing powers of art, color, and other aesthetics. Art therapy might sound ineffective, but according to one study, researchers found that participating in art therapy for an average of 50 minutes significantly improved hospital patients’ moods and lowered levels of pain and anxiety.

Coloring can calm your busy or overworked mind.

Coloring requires basic, repetitive motions, which makes it great for stress relief. Why? Well, these motions engage parts of the cerebral cortex while relaxing the amygdala, the brain's fear center. Not to mention, coloring can urge your mind to shift its focus from daily stressors to more in-the-moment observations, like what the crayon feels like between your fingers.

Coloring can inspire you in many ways.

As a child, you enjoyed plenty of open-ended, unstructured playtime. As an adult, these opportunities are fewer and further between. Coloring can fill that void by engaging your mind while giving it plenty of space to wander. According to experts, it’s in these moments of unstructured engagement that many new ideas pop up. Pick up coloring at home, and you may find that it leads to a stroke of genius!

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