With social media having a heavy influence on people, many are just waiting to jump onto the next new wave. Some trends are meaningless and others have more benefits. Well, a new trend is driving adults toward the coloring book section of the bookstores. Recently, adults have begun to use coloring as a way to reduce stress and anxiety.
Coloring is similar to art therapy, but not identical. Although it is easily confused, art therapy is a “mental health profession” in which 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.” For more serious emotional issues, refer to art therapy. However, coloring is not a profession, but more of a hobby; the childhood hobby that kept you quiet for hours still has the same effect. When you color, your mind goes off into your imagination and allows stress and anxiety levels to drop. It is also a great way to practice mindfulness meditation, which is a great way to gain focus.
One study conducted in 2005 included 84 graduate students who colored and experienced a drop in anxiety. It proved that coloring in a “reasonably complex pattern may induce a meditative state and therefore help to combat anxiety,” according to CNN.
The adult coloring book industry is expanding. Amazon has hundreds of adult coloring books with beautiful, detailed images ready to be filled in light and dark hues. Some prices range from average and economical to hundreds of dollars. Yes, there is a new industry created around this simple form of therapy, starting from one of the first coloring books published in 2012.
To get the maximum results, choose the patterns that you’re most comfortable with. What makes the books different from child books are the various themes and level of detail. Popular themes are Tibetan Art or I Love Lucy, Johanna Bedford’s The Secret Garden and many others. It has been said that colored pencils are best used with pictures because of the accuracy and concentration that it requires. Coloringbook.net and Crayola have coloring guides to help you get the most out of your sessions and to help you create pictures you’d be proud to frame in your living room.