Candice Taylor, chiropractor at Back 2 Balance in Brighton and Hove, has a deep interest than the nerve endings, the spine in all its intricacies, and muscle function (though this is her primary work!). Candice is also very aware that the mind plays an important part in the treatment of physical ills. In this blog, Candice explores a simple, yet effective tool to assist in stress reduction.
You may have noticed adult colouring books lining the walls of your favourite book-store maybe even picked one up and had a look. Colouring for adults is a trend that has boomed over the last 6 months, but is this just another fad or a productive way to de-stress?
There are some bold claims being made, such as ‘colouring can replace mindfulness and meditation.’ I believe that while colouring has some great benefits it cannot replace these techniques or act as a sole therapy for anxiety, depression and other mental illness.
With traditional techniques I have found often my clients have struggled to clear the mind allowing intrusive thoughts to get in. Often they talk to me about how they tried it but felt they were not good at it. I have started suggesting adult colouring as an aid to de-stress. The action of colouring uses repetitive actions and creative choices that help focus the mind on one thing, blocking out negative or worrying thoughts.
The practice simulates wellness and quietness while stimulating areas of the brain associated with motor skills, senses and creativity. Other stress management therapies focus on stimulating these areas either though guided imagery or hypnosis.
Colouring activates the two sides of out brain. Using logic by which we work our way around the images and colour forms, stimulates the left. The right works with creativity when we choose and match colours. Both sides incorporate the cerebral hemispheres by involving fine motor skills and areas involved with vision. It de-stresses us by lowering the activity in our amygdala, a primitive part of our brain involved in the control of emotions.
Carl Jung was one of the first psychologists to use colouring as a relaxation technique he was inspired by mandalas, these symmetrical concentric shapes originated from India. If you feel stressed why not give it a go? You can easily download mandalas for free online or as previously mentioned there are a plethora of books available.
If you have any questions about how stress could be affecting your health or if you feel that it is affecting your overall wellness get in touch with us at Back2Balance.