August 2 is National Coloring Book Day. One of our amazing members, Venus Lowe, has written on how coloring books has helped her and her friends deal with stress.
Stress, this six letter word is actually as harmful as it looks. Psychology Today defines stress as a reaction to a stimulus that disturb our physical and mental equilibrium (2016).
There are many things that can cause symptoms of stress. Common symptoms of stress are headaches, dizziness, depression, fatigue and even stuttering. These types of symptoms even causes our body systems to shut down. The American Institute of Stress states that the nervous system is where the nervous glands are able to signal the body to have that “fight or flight” reaction. Both the musculoskeletal and respiratory systems are affected when stress causes both the muscles to tense up and the ability to breathe a bit difficult. Meanwhile the rest of the body systems – cardiovascular, endocrine, gastrointestinal, and reproductive – are also affected because the stress causes the hormones of the body to produce cortisol, the stomach and esophagus to be inflamed. Last but not least, testosterone levels, irregular periods, and sexual drive is affected due to stress (AIS, 2016).
One remedy that is also therapeutic for adults is coloring books. According to Nielson Books, over twelve million adult coloring books have been sold in the United States alone. They are just what most people need to cope with grief and so forth. I have a friend who just found out her sons both have some form of ADHD, and her husband suffers from PTSD. Yet, coloring from these books has helped her cope in so many ways. She even has her own Facebook page, titled “Coloring with Beth.”
I, too have several coloring books and need the time to start again. Mine range from the anatomy coloring book to the adult swear words coloring book. I even got one from a dear friend when I moved from Bakersfield, CA to Cleveland, OH. Adult coloring books are considered a form of therapy. They are a way to relieve stress and help those who are in the process of grieving a loss of a loved one. Adult coloring books allow the mind to focus on the task at hand which is coloring. Dr. Joel Pearson, a brain scientist at the University of New South Wales in Australia, believed that coloring allows the person to replace their negative thoughts to positive ones (Dovey, 2015).
In conclusion, adult coloring books are a very useful invention. They are a great therapeutic art form for adults. A great stress reliever because many individuals suffer from anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Since stress has a way of shutting the body down, all of the systems of the body – from the cardiovascular to the reproductive system are suffering. Yes, coloring books are more than just an art form. Coloring books have become more than just a fashion statement or a trend. Coloring books are a way of life. I recommend that adult coloring books continue to be a part of life. If it is able to ease the pain of loss of a loved one or a person suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder, than I say GO FOR IT!!!!
- Dovey, Dana. “The Therapeutic Science of Adult Coloring Books: How This Childhood Pastime Helps Adults Relieve Stress (2015 Oct 8) Retrieved from https://www.medicaldaily.com/therapeutic-science-adult-coloring-books-how-childhood-pastime-helps-adults-356280.
- Krug, Nora. “Why Adult Coloring Books are the Latest Trend.” Health Science. (2016). Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/adult-coloring-books-are-not-just-a-fad-for-some-they-are-a-lifesaver/2016/05/02/47449320-f8c2-11e5-a3ce-f06b5ba21f33_story.html
- Psychology Today. “Stress”. Psychology Today © 1991-2016. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/stress
Venus Lowe is a student at Kaplan University.