Colouring books are no longer just for the kids. In fact, adult coloring books are all the rage right now. This trend is reflected in the sales of colored pencils and crayons, as well as coloring books. The first commercially successful adult coloring books were published in 2012. However, it is just beginning to take off in popularity.
Art Therapy, Adult Colouring Books and Your Mental Health
Art therapy is recognized as an important and useful mental health tool. Therapists use art-related exercises to explore a patient's feelings, manage behavior and addiction problems, assist in developing social skills, reduce anxiety, and increase self-esteem.
Coloring is not, itself, 'art therapy', because that relies on the relationship between the client and the therapist. But coloring can be 'therapeutic'. It can potentially reduce anxiety and stress, and increase focus. Similar to meditation, coloring allows one to 'focus on the moment', thus helping to reduce free-floating anxiety. Coloring therapy has been shown to be effective for those with anxiety and stress-related disorders. Some people report having a better, more rested sleep, when coloring for just 5 minutes before bedtime.
A Meditative Activity
There’s a reason that adult coloring books are becoming a favorite activity among high-profile business professionals. There is evidence that even a short coloring session can help improve focus and spur creativity. Some offices are even making time for group coloring sessions. Evidence shows this can be a way to improve group focus and creativity during big projects. And of course, it can be a fun social activity, too.
Coloring, like other 'meditative' activities, allows you to do something without the need for active concentration. In studies, activities like coloring have been shown to produce a similar effect to meditation in the brain.