Are there benefits to adult coloring books?

relaxing with adult coloring book, on wooden table

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) They’re fun, they’re pretty, they’re a throwback to our childhoods when we spent hours clutching Crayolas. But is the new trend of adult coloring books actually good for you? We turned to the experts at Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services to explore the mental health effects of coloring.

Sarah Spicer, Recreational Therapist at Pine Rest, says she uses coloring books for individual therapies to aid in stress reduction, relaxation, focus, and to help patients open up and become more comfortable.

Spicer says many patients enjoy coloring with their peers because it opens up the window for conversation and gives them something in common. Coloring is also a great form of stress management and thought organization. Coloring (as well as other crafts) also helps to problem solve, make decisions, exercise work skills, increase independence and sense of control, and increases alertness.

In the Older Adult Unit at Pine Rest, Becky Michaus says coloring is a simple, non-threatening, familiar activity for people who have dementia. It is a soothing activity that often brings back memories of childhood or an activity the patient did with their child. The art is often displayed to give patients a sense of pride in what they completed.

Coloring can help non-patients in the same ways. It’s a great stress reliever and a fun way to pass the time.

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