Adult Coloring and the Brain

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Epilepsy affects one in twenty-six Americans, and sixty-five million people worldwide. That is a lot of people when you think about it. Fourteen million plus were diagnosed with cancer in 2014 and there is more information about cancer than epilepsy, and epilepsy affects our brain, which affects everything else. So, don't you think it is beneficial that we know more about it than anything else?

I was diagnosed twenty-three years ago on October 31st, which is the major reason I can't stand Halloween! In the last twenty-three years I have learned a lot about epilepsy and how seizures affect the brain. In the last year or so I've learned that just like my body needs rest, so does my brain.

Our brain runs every part of our body and if it is not getting any down time to just sit and be then it can affect how the rest of the body functions.

I have complex-partial seizures, which is in the temporal lobe of our brain, right over our eyes. Mine are focused on the right side, which affects my memory, language, and speech. Thankfully, I am controlled with medication and the Vagus Nerve Stimulator.

In July of 2015 I discovered adult coloring and I have really noticed a change in my seizure control, and how my brain functions when I take time in the late afternoon and evening to focus my attention on a coloring page. Coloring has shown to reduce stress, why, you ask. Coloring has been shown to calm the amygdala, which is part of the Limbic system. The amygdala is located on top of the hippocampus. The hippocampus is vunerable to stress and since coloring calms the amygdala, it has proven to calm both stress and anxiety in the hippocampus as well. Part of my hippocampus was removed when I had a right temporal-lobectomy in 2004, to reduce my seizure activity. I believe that since our brain is a muscle, it gets strengthened when we use it properly. Having a smaller hippocampus has allowed my amygdala to get stronger, therefore calming my brain.

As adults we should take a clue from our children. They have no worries or stress, we encourage creativity with them, so why not do it ourselves? Living in the electronic world that we do now, most of us stare at a screen for work, and we have smartphones that go with us everywhere. Our brains need to shut down from all that stimulation.

This topic popped up when I saw my epileptologist in August. An epileptologist is a specialist who focuses on seizures in the brain. My doctor, Robert Wechsler, is an expert in the field. He not only created the Epilepsy Care Unit at St. Luke's Regional Medical Center here in Boise, ID. He runs it, teaches other doctors about the disorder and helps create medications. When I saw him in August he asked me what I thought was keeping me seizure free. I told him besides the VNS, my RA under control, I spent time coloring in the evening each night. He responded that I had proven his thoughts, he was thinking that adult coloring relaxed the brain and would help with seizure control.

Whether you have epilepsy or not try adult coloring, you may find a difference in your brain function.

I colored this both Tuesday and Wednesday night. It's from Color's of Faith: Inspirational Coloring book by Lisa Joy Samson.

You can order it here: AMAZON

I'd love to hear back from you. Do you color? Have you noticed a difference? Let me know in the comments.


2 Responses to “Adult Coloring and the Brain”
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That is really interesting! This is a great reminder to me that I need down-time. I haven't done much coloring, but I agree that it is relaxing. T

Thanks for stopping by. I enjoyed it but really didn't put it all together until I did it regularly and began noticing the difference.

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