Remember how much you loved your coloring books when you were a kid? Well who said that had to go away when you hit adulthood? If you’ve been living under a rock for the past year- adult coloring books are all the rage right now. They were certainly a hot ticket item for holiday season. And I’ve been loving mine. Each night after dinner, I unwind at my coffee table with The Enchanted Forest and the 150 pencil set my mom kindly gifted me for Christmas. So what makes coloring such a beneficial relaxation technique?
According to the American Art Therapy Association, art therapy is a mental health profession in which the process of making and creating artwork is used to “explore feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety and increase self-esteem.” While coloring isn’t exactly the same as art therapy, coloring definitely has therapeutic potential to reduce anxiety and create focus.
Just like meditation, coloring also allows us to switch off our brains from other thoughts and focus only on the moment, helping to alleviate free-floating anxiety.
Low Barrier to Entry
Another appealing aspect of adult coloring? The low barrier to entry. All you need is a coloring book and some colored pencils — and the “But-I-don’t-know-how!” intimidation factor is non-existent.
Want to fill in some pages? For those who need a hobby to help them chill out, these books could be the ticket. Here are a few of my favorites:
Enchanted Forest by Johanna Basford
Secret Paris: Color Your Way to Calm by Zoe de Las Cases
Flower Designs by Jenean Morrison
Animal Designs by Blue Star Coloring
I suggest skipping the crayons- head straight for the colored pencils. Precision is everything. The more colors available, the better. This is the set I have: Prismacolor Premier Set of 150 but there are plenty of other less expensive options.
So what are you waiting for? Get to coloring!