I walked through the aisles of my local craft store and saw it… an entire display area for coloring books. Coloring books?
But these were no ordinary coloring books. These were targeted towards adults. The black-and-white pictures were gorgeous designs of mandalas, botanical gardens, butterflies, ocean underwater landscapes, you name it. They were all beautiful, intricate patterns that could literally take hours to fill in just one coloring page.
Why would a grown-up want to color for over an hour? Turns out coloring is calming and relaxing – allowing our brains to focus on the moment and tune out from stress. And everyone is getting on the coloring bandwagon as adult coloring books are now topping best-seller book lists and classes are popping up in libraries and bookstores around the U.S. for “adult coloring classes” – yes, really.
So what’s the deal with adult coloring books? Keep reading to find out more and I’ll give you some suggestions on coloring books to try.
6 Reasons to Get an Adult Coloring Book
1. Coloring is a great way to relieve stress.
Feeling overwhelmed or stressed out? Time to get a coloring book. The act of coloring can help you to focus and de-stress because it helps you to focus on the task at hand. So an hour of coloring each night could be a great way to unwind at the end of a long day.
According to Dr. Stan Rodski, a neuropsychologist who is also an author of his own line of adult coloring books, “coloring elicits a relaxing mindset, similar to what you would achieve through meditation. Like mediation, coloring allows us to switch off our brains from other thoughts and focus on the moment.”1
2. Coloring may help to reduce anxiety.
Feeling anxious or dreading something? Coloring could help. By focusing on the image in front of you and choosing different colors to fill in the details of the picture, your mind focuses on what’s in front of you. The images are often whimsical and playful – all positive for the mood. This can help to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
“Concentrating on coloring an image may facilitate the replacement of negative thoughts and images with pleasant ones. You have to look at the shape and size, you have to look at the edges, and you have to pick a color,” says Dr. Joel Pearson, a brain scientist at the University of New South Wales in Australia. “It should occupy the same parts of the brain that stops any anxiety-related mental imagery happening as well.”1
3. Coloring may help to improve focus.
Need help with focus and concentration? Coloring is an excellent way to build those skills. The repetition and attention to patterns and details with coloring helps the mind to focus and concentrate. I like to diffuse Brain Power, Cedarwood, Lavender and Vetiver essential oils (how to order) too to promote focus and concentration.
4. Coloring helps to tap into your creative side.
There’s no right or wrong way to color. Just pick the color palette you like and get to work. Coloring helps to get the right side of the brain working. And if you’re not very artistic (like me), this is a great way to tap into your creative side.
5. Coloring is a great way to unplug from electronic devices.
Feeling like you’re too plugged into your electronic devices? You’re not alone. According to Nielsen’s Total Audience Report, Americans aged 18 and older spend more than 11 hours a day watching TV, listening to the radio or using smartphones and other electronic devices. ELEVEN HOURS A DAY! That seems ridiculous, but think about how much time you’re spending online and plugged in.
So turn off the TV, iPhone and computer and reach for a coloring book instead.
6. Coloring is an ideal activity before bedtime.
Instead of tuning out to TV or your computer before bedtime, try coloring instead. Coloring is a great activity to do an hour before bedtime to help your brain relax and unwind for the day. I like to diffuse Lavender and Cedarwood essential oils (how to order) too to promote relaxation. If you need more tips to get better sleep naturally, check out 10 natural ways to get better sleep.
Adult Coloring Books To Try
1. The Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book by Johanna Basford (a best-seller on Amazon. It’s sold more than 4 million copies!)
2. Joyful Designs Adult Coloring Book (31 stress-relieving designs) by Joy Ting
3. Outside the Lines: An Artists’ Coloring Book for Giant Imaginations by Souris Hong-Porretta
4. Color Me Stress-Free by Lacy Mucklow
5. Fantastic Cities by Steve McDonald
Photo credit: DepositPhotos.com / sonerbakir and AmazonThis post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.
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