Remember what it was like when you received a coloring book at Christmas or on a birthday? Most of us were so excited that we started coloring right away, spending hours filling in pages with our creations.
Part of the problem with growing up and growing older is we lose that focused sense of delight while coloring; that suspension of time as we fill pages with crayon in hand.
That doesn’t have to be because coloring is also a valid activity for adults, and now Sunbury’s Community Library has a Coloring Club workshop for adults on the last Wednesday of each month.
All materials, including colored pencils, markers, and coloring sheets will be provided by the library.
Research shows that coloring is a very beneficial activity for people of all ages. It helps reduce stress, is relaxing, and improves cognitive function.
One of the first psychologists to apply coloring as a relaxation technique was Carl G. Jüng in the early 20th century. He discovered that when coloring, we activate different areas of our two cerebral hemispheres.
Psychologist Gloria Martinez Ayala said coloring involves both logic, by which we color forms; and creativity, when mixing and matching colors.
“This incorporates the areas of the cerebral cortex involved in vision and fine motor skills,” Ayala said. “The relaxation that it provides lowers the activity of the amygdala, a basic part of our brain involved in controlling emotion that is affected by stress.”
In simple terms, coloring has a de-stressing effect because when we focus on a particular activity, we focus on it and not on our worries. Coloring also brings out our imagination and takes us back to our childhood, a period in which we had a lot less stress.
It’s now known that as adults we can use coloring to enter into a more creative, freer state; and also use it to connect with how we feel, since depending on our mood we choose different colors or intensity.
The word is already out in countries like France and the United Kingdom, where coloring books for adults are bestsellers.
The Community Library Coloring Club is a good place to come out for an hour and converse with people as you create. The coloring workshop leaders will offer handy tips to get you started, and light refreshments will be served. And don’t be shy, bring your friends.
Please preregister for the Community Library Coloring Club so sufficient materials and refreshments are on hand when you arrive; to preregister stop at the library front desk or call 740-965-3901.
Community Library is located at 44 Burrer Drive in Sunbury, and on the World Wide Web at < community.lib.oh.us >.
Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093.