The American Art Therapy Association defines art therapy as a mental health profession in which clients, facilitated by the art therapist, use art media, the creative process, and the resulting artwork to do the following:
- Explore their feelings
- Reconcile emotional conflicts
- Foster self-awareness
- Manage behavior and addictions
- Develop social skills
- Improve reality orientation
- Reduce anxiety
- Increase self-esteem
From this definition, we can see that art therapy is intended to be used by professionals and their clients, working together to resolve and overcome different challenges. These are significant benefits that people can receive from Art Therapy. Whether your art therapy is structured and lead by a therapist or caregiver or used on a more basic and personal level the benefits are exciting.
Adult Coloring Benefits
In today’s world, we don’t see kids coloring as much as we do adults. Adult coloring is a major trend and people are loving it for a lot of different reasons. It helps adults feel better in a lot of different ways. For seniors, the benefits that come from adult coloring can be a game-changer in terms of quality of life. Let’s talk about what kind of benefits adults are seeing from simply spending time coloring.
Adult coloring books are not the type of coloring books you see for children. The paper is a higher-quality with a larger selection of themes. The images are positive and relaxing, encouraging and uplifting, and entrancing. While coloring, adults can experience a meditative state, achieve mindfulness by focusing on the present, relief from stress and anxiety, and an uplift in positive attitudes. While people often spend their mind energy on something that has happened in the past, or overthinking the future, adult coloring can help them stay in the present and more fully enjoy it.
Unplug From The World
Aside from mental health benefits, adult coloring has given people a fun way to disconnect from technology and be present in their own moment. This allows people to open up creatively, feel the joy of creating, and be inspired to create more.
Some people have claimed that adult coloring helps them divert focus away from physical pain. They have said that for a brief period of time they were able to spend time and attention on the present moment instead of “with” body pain. This is a significant tool for seniors that struggle with aches and pains that are not easily remedied. It may also be beneficial for people recovering from injury, surgery or living with chronic conditions.
Not sure what to get grandma for her birthday? Buy her a nostalgic coloring book or a relaxing mandala book and sit with her. Color together and be present together. Share your coloring pages with each other. What a great moment for you and for her. You can get some books for your own children and bring them along to visit grandma – get the kids involved in creativity and peace where loved ones can enjoy them also.
Adult coloring may not seem to be something that aging adults would be interested in originally, but surprise them – they might be surprised by how much they enjoy it. Studies and personal anecdotes are pointing toward beautiful benefits of art therapy.