Color by Number: Your Pathway to Stress Relief

Color by Number: Your Pathway to Stress Relief

In times of sadness, stress, and despair, a time of self-care is very essential. The definition of “Self-care” is not one size fits all. Rather, it differs from person to person. For many, self-care means going to the salon, getting a manicure or facial, or binge watching movies and TV shows. While for some, leveraging their creativity through the means of creating artworks like paintings and drawings is a form of self-care and self-expression. For today, we will discuss another form of self-care that has become really popular over the past few years since 2015. You’ve seen them on the internet, in social media, newspapers, and TV shows: color by number for adults. What’s the reason for all the hype? Are there any surprising benefits of using coloring books? Read below if you wanna find out more.

When hearing the words “coloring books,” what automatically comes to our minds are the memories of being a kindergarten or elementary student. It takes us back to memory lane when our only challenge in life was not to cross the lines in the images of our coloring books. It sure felt good to be a kid, so why not get in touch with the inner child in us? Coloring books are not just used for school children as an aid for learning and to teach them different colors. Over the past few years, several studies have established the therapeutic benefits of coloring books. Nowadays, color by number for adults has become a form of therapy for adults who sought help to decrease their stress and anxiety. 

Similar to Paint by Numbers kits, color by number for adults are easy to use, and have hundreds of themes and patterns to choose from. Accordingly, the first versions of adult coloring books for stress relief were published some time in 2012 to 2013, but the craze started in 2015. There’s just something enchanting about mindlessly putting colors on patterns like mandalas, geometric shapes, florals, and many more.

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The Color by Number for Adults Craze:
What Makes it so Popular?

  1. Used for meditation purposes:

    Indulging in a coloring activity helps you enter into a state of meditation that promotes mindfulness. Allowing yourself to focus in the moment will make you forget about your anxiety, stop thinking about the past and worrying about the future. By filling those little segments and contours with colors, you take yourself outside of your self-awareness, making your mind a little blank. You’re not disturbed by any destructive thoughts and appraisals; the reality seems to be forgotten from your awareness which can improve your mental and physical health.

  2. A great tool for mind exercise:

    As we get older, we need to stimulate our senses and use our brains often in order to reduce the chances of acquiring neurologic disorders like Alzheimer’s and Dementia. A simple coloring activity fires up the mind and it utilizes both sides of the brain--the logical and the creative side. Thus, it also utilizes the brain’s cerebral cortex which promotes good motor skills and coordination.

  3. Helps you get better sleep at night:

    It’s a guilty pleasure for most of us to stare at our smartphones or tablets at night until we fall asleep. Unfortunately, instead of helping us sleep at night, using gadgets can actually destroy a good night's sleep because of the radiation light. The light can reduce our sleeping hormone known as melatonin. So, if you want to have a pre-ritual before bed that can help you fall asleep, try color by number for adults--it can make your eyes tire without disturbing your melatonin levels.

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  4. Replaces negative thoughts with positive ones:

    Our minds are often plagued with stress and anxiety from the real world-- we overthink about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, our financial security, personal issues, and family problems. By allowing yourself to relax and pursue a creative activity, the negative thoughts in your mind will evaporate and be replaced by positive ones.

  5. It keeps you off from technology:

    The advent of technology has made people so busy touching their gadgets that they forget the simplicity of enjoying and indulging in activities that don’t require any gadget. These days, whether we admit it or not, we rarely unplug ourselves from the internet to give ourselves some me-time: an alone time where you de-stress and forget about everything else. Thanks to color by number for adults, many people are starting to rekindle their nature again. They take some time off the internet and do something fun for themselves.

  6. Promotes a healthy coping mechanism:

    Each of us has our own ways to cope. However, not all of us have healthy coping mechanisms that will help us improve our well-being. Through engaging in creative activities like this, you can reduce your stress and anxiety as you improve your overall well-being at the same time.

The Takeaway

With so many patterns and themes to choose from, color by number for adults is something that all adults can enjoy regardless of their artistic capabilities and skills. What matters is that you enjoy the activity, de-stress, and forget about everything even just for an hour because everyone, including you, deserves a break from reality every once in a while. 

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