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Jan 14 2016
by Emily Perry

Why Adult Coloring Books Are As Awesome as Everyone Says

By Emily Perry - Jan 14 2016

So the latest fad has finally revealed itself: Adult Coloring Books

These things aren't only awesome because it's an excuse to release your inner child and color, but they have been shown to have tremendous psychological benefits for color-ers, regardless of age. These psychological benefits that will improve your stress levels and life in general – check out a wide range of adult coloring books here!

1. It's a great way to relax.

Psychologists have prescribed coloring to adults for an extremely long time (more than 100 years!). In fact, Carl Jung (1865-1961) was one of the first to prescribe them to his patients. Coloring has been shown to have some of the same benefits as meditation, allowing those who color to relax and release anger held within their subconscious.

2. They've been shown to provide treatment for mental health disorders.

Coloring has been researched regarding aiding sufferers of eating disorders, depression, anxiety, and so many other mental illnesses. It is thought that coloring, in its relaxing nature, allows people to pull their focus away from other things and stressors.  This is also true for those that suffer from PTSD, because coloring calms down the brain's amygdala, or the center responsible for the "flight or fight" response.

3. It helps you focus on other things, too.

Coloring has been proven to heighten our body's ability to focus, solve problems, and organize. The brain's frontal lobe is responsible for these activities and coloring detailed pictures, as found in most adult coloring books, activates this part of the brain and gives it practice, allowing for the benefits to reach all areas of your life. Part of this stems from our brain's focusing on color schemes and small areas while coloring complex pictures.

4. It can help you sleep.

Our brains are always on, nowadays. We are always thinking of the next due assignment, or what we said to that one person in that one class earlier in the day. Coloring's calming benefits can be used before you sleep to calm your brain to make falling asleep easier.

5. It helps personal growth.

A study at the American Art Therapy Association found that incorporating art into one's life can aid in general confidence and ability to express oneself. More recently, studies have begun to show that adult coloring books are perfect way to incorporate art into your life because those who describe themselves as "uncreative" can still color and have great success, leading to better overall feelings toward art and oneself.

6. It's fun!

Coloring has been shown to bring people back to the simplicity of childhood, when life was simple and when coloring was an acceptable activity. This simplicity being reintroduced into our lives help alleviate the stress of adulthood and college life. Also, coloring parties are starting to become popular, where people will get together, drink some wine, and bond while coloring - How awesome is that!?

Lead Image Credit: Winona Daily News

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Emily Perry - Rhodes College

Emily is a Russian Studies major at Rhodes College in Memphis, TN. She loves film, literature, and the US National Park Service. Emily has been writing for Fresh U since June of 2014 and has served as both a web editor and a social media editor. Outside of Fresh U, she volunteers with the YMCA Center for Civic Engagement and is involved with her sorority, Alpha Omicron Pi.

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