Stressful Destressing

A few years back, "adult coloring books" swept across the United States. No, they are not 18+ images. Apparently they're just coloring books with shapes and figures that have more complex grooves and more places to color. Yay, fun for all you coloring people. I, however, honestly don't know how coloring is possibly relaxing in any sense. At first, I was going to write an article about why coloring would be a helpful destressing tool during this crunch time.

However, I just can't get behind the idea of coloring being relaxing at all. I will say ahead of time, I don't like coloring, I never have.

This article is a reaction to an article from The Coloring Book Club. Here, three reasons are given to answer why coloring helps destress. 

The thought process: So the idea here is that coloring takes my mind off of whatever is worrying me. Apparently, my stress levels are supposed to readjust? Wrong. Now I'll just stress out about which colors to use, how to get the color evenly, and coloring inside the lines in a mechanical manner.

Replacement chemicals are released: So happy childhood memories are supposed to "flood my brain," but really I have no happy memories of me coloring. Only flinching and scribbling outside the lines, growing impatient, and trying my darndest to color with straight lines. Coloring is supposed to help me mimic those happy memories and trick my brain into releasing happy hormones rather than stressed ones. Let me tell you, when I'm coloring, so much thought is put in that it feels like another task I need to stress about.

Your hands are busy: Yes, but they could also be busy doing something that doesn't make my hand tense so much that it cramps. It says that keeping my hand busy prevents it from tightening up. Is that true? Does no one else get hand cramps when they write? Maybe my hand posture isn't correct when I write.

In my opinion, I think zentangles are more relieving than coloring. What are zentangles you ask?

 

Think advanced doodling. Rather than forcing yourself to stay within lines, zentangles encourage the creator to make their own lines. There is no right or wrong way to do it. Some zentangles have organic shapes, others have more solidified lines or figures. Within whatever form the creator chooses all that needs to be done is a repetitive pattern. It's simple, really. When I first did a zentangle, I scribbled a random organic shape onto a paper and chose really basic patterns. Even that was stress-relieving.

If you've never done a zentangle before, you should definitely try it out!

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