By Lydia Walker
For The Hillsider
For The Hillsider
The above image was drawn by Lydia Walker, art therapist. She and The Hillsider invite you to get out colored pencils or crayons and enjoy a few minutes of relaxation by coloring her design.
It seems like suddenly everywhere you go you can find adult coloring books, including grocery stores, bookstores, department stores, and coffee shops. Many of them label themselves as art therapy. As an art therapist I can tell you that they are not art therapy, but a tool that can be used by therapist and general population alike to induce various health benefits. Now one may wonder what type of health benefits can come from coloring.
Dr. Stan Rodski, a neuropsychologist and author of a line of adult coloring books, states that coloring stimulates a relaxed mindset, which is similar to what one could achieve through meditation. Coloring allows us to distract our brains from other thoughts and focus on the moment and task in front of us. Tasks with predictable results and repetitive motions such as coloring can be calming and relaxing. Both meditation and coloring help to relax and reduce the chatter of one’s restless mind. Additionally, coloring keeps a person focused on the present moment and helps them to be mindful.
"Coloring can lead to lowered heart rate and slowed breathing causing physical relaxation as well."
Not only do the repetitive actions along with the attention to patterns and detail associated with coloring aid in mental relaxation but there is also a physiological response as well. Coloring can lead to lowered heart rate and slowed breathing causing physical relaxation as well.
Most of you remember coloring as a kid. As an adult colors, they are linking to memories of coloring as a child, whether they are aware of this or not. One is transported back to the stress-free days of childhood, which aids a person to relax and feel more optimistic and energetic. This leads to increased positive emotions and thoughts. Now who doesn’t want to be a kid again and who doesn’t want to have happy thoughts?
|Lydia Walker, art therapist|
(Lydia Walker is an art therapist and artist specializing in how art & brain interact promoting healing & healthy living and owner of Studio 15. For more information visit Facebook.com/pg/Studio15Gallery or phone (612) 203-4300)
The images below were drawn by Lydia Walker, art therapist. She and The Hillsider invite you to get out colored pencils or crayons and enjoy a few minutes of relaxation by coloring her designs.