How does coloring affect our mind?
Have you ever considered coloring books as something more than just a form of fun and relax? You may be surprised, but psychologists have been dealing with the influence of coloring books on the operation of the human mind for many years. And the man who started it all was probably Carl Jung…
1. A friend of Sigmund Freud
Yes, yes it was “this” Carl Gustav Jung – a notable Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who founded analytical psychology. A younger colleague of Sigmund Freud, whose work has been influential primarily in psychiatry but later in anthropology, archaeology, literature and even philosophy. Exactly this man also dealt with the influence of coloring books on the mental condition of his numerous patients. And in the course of his research, he saw their numerous advantages.
Modern psychologists continue and develop his work. And the influence of coloring on the human mind is already quite well researched and described in the scientific literature. So what are the top coloring benefits we can derive from coloring?
2. Key benefits
Well, do you remember when you were a kid? Wasn’t that time happier? More free from stress and constant rush? The vast majority of us have positive memories associated with childhood (although of course there are exceptions). Coloring allows us to mentally go back in time. By positive associations, we subconsciously activate memories and feelings that accompanied us in our childhood. And good thoughts and memories have a direct beneficial effect on the condition of our psyche. They also allow us look at life from a different and usually more optimistic perspective.
But that’s just the beginning. Probably even more surprising is a fact that coloring can help to solve many emotional disorders like for example excessive anxiety, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, depressive states plus many of the eating disorders. What is more, it can also help controlling anger and excessive emotional fluctuations throughout the day. Some psychologists also use coloring books to treat patients who suffer from substances abuse issues.
Now let’s play a small quiz. The question is: what is amygdala? Hardly anyone knows the correct answer to this question. So if you knew, I would like to congratulate you! But to explain the subject to those who didn’t know. An amygdala plays a vital role in the body of every human being. Namely, this tiny part of the human brain regulates our very basic “fight or flight” reaction. Moreover, the overactive amygdala can make us feel anxious and in extreme cases, even states of panic and deep anxiety. And what can calm these reactions down? Yes, you’re right – coloring pages! They’re very relaxing and that’s what is urgently needed when our amygdala is working like Amazon’s logistics center just before Christmas.
Still not enough of benefits? OK so let me also mention that classic coloring books have also a positive effect on our intellectual effectiveness. Namely, it enhances creativity, increases the level of mind and hand precision, ability to keep attention on details for a longer period of time, logical thinking, problem-solving and even some basic organizational skills. All these functions are activated and intensively enhanced when we spend our time with crayons and coloring sheets. You can also propose educational coloring pages to your child.
3. Try it yourself
So whenever you have a bad day or feeling of resignation, then just remember that there is one very cheap but extremely effective cure for such problems. Help yourself and reduce feelings of anxiety and unpleasantness. What you need is just a few coloring pages and a couple of sharp crayons. And that’s it. If you don’t believe then read the memoirs of Carl Jung:)