Break Out the Crayons

One of the biggest trends lately is coloring books for adults, which I find hard to believe considering the state of the world today. But now that I really think about it, the trend totally makes sense. There are so many people finding ways to recapture their youth and coloring books are one of the earliest childhood memories that come to mind and always gave me such a sense of pleasure. Now that I am an adult, I accidentally stumbled on to this craze and have become an avid fan.

coloring book

There have been several studies conducted over the years that give insight into how coloring can benefit adults of all ages. In fact, it has been touted that arts and adults work in tandems like a glass of ice tea and pie. Major news stations are even beginning to report on the phenomenon of adult coloring books and how it has resurfaced and become a fave once again. It is an activity that offers therapeutic benefits too since it has been shown to reduce stress and take our minds away from the pressures of everyday life. The following are just some of the benefits associated with adults using color books:

 

The brain enters meditative state

Anxiety and stress levels decrease

Positivity takes over negative thoughts

Focusing helps to create mindfulness

Unplugging from all technology promotes more creation, less consumption

Anyone, regardless of skill, can color, not solely creative types and artists

Coloring is a hobby that can go wherever you do

 

Why Adult Coloring Books Are So Special

 

The average adult coloring book is not the same as the type you would buy for a child. First of all, the quality of the paper is higher, the designs more intricate, and there is an extensive selection of topics and themes to choose from. They include Doctor Who, Harry Potter, animals, flowers, and just about everything under the sun. I’m sure there’s a coloring book out there that suits your preferences.

 

How Adult Coloring and Art Therapy Correlate

colored pencil

There are always going to be critics for anything, and there are some therapists that are extremely cautious about coloring as a form of therapy, while others are welcoming the emerging trend with open arms. What they all do agree on, however, is there are some serious differences between adult coloring and the profession of an art therapist. According to the AATA (American Art Therapy Association), art therapy is a profession in the mental health field that uses art media and the creatives process to evoke feelings, foster self-awareness, manage addictions and behavior, reduce anxiety, and elevate self-esteem. According to some doctors, coloring books are best suited for complementing art therapy, but not replacing it. There are some doctors that exclusively use adult coloring books in their treatment sessions – they consider them therapeutic but not on the same level as conventional forms of therapy. The question still looms large on if adult coloring can replicate the effects and benefits of meditation.