Remember those marvelous kindergarten days when the teacher used to hand out coloring books and Crayolas to everyone in the class? Well, if the scent of crayons still makes you nostalgic, we’ve got some really good news for you. There’s more to coloring than just fun – apparently, this pastime also has great therapeutic effects.
Swiss psychotherapist Carl Jung reached this conclusion over 50 years ago, but coloring books for adults didn’t become a thing until quite recently, when millions of people of all ages are using them everyday to de-stress and get away from it all.
Does coloring actually work?
Judging from the positive opinions of people from all over the world, it certainly does, especially in patients dealing with mental illnesses like depression, anxiety and PTSD, who often report feeling a lot better after a coloring session. Researchers have also been trying to find out if art therapy can alleviate some of the effects of cancer and this study yielded some really encouraging results; same goes for this one. It’s true that coloring sheets will probably never replace medication, but they certainly do a great job at improving sick people’s mindset, especially when they’re undergoing harsh treatment.
From a scientific point of view
Just like smoking a cigarette, coloring a nicely-designed sheet from a book can help you forget about the huge pile of dishes in the sink or about that deadline you’re about to miss, the only difference being that crayons will never do you any harm – on the contrary. Such an activity calls for focus, determination and creativity. You’ll be forced to draw within the lines, match colors and stick to certain patterns, which in turn will stimulate some of your essential brain areas and give the fear center in your amygdala a well-deserved break. The result? An instant state of relaxation.
Best-selling coloring books
Believe it or not, coloring books for adults are selling extremely well these days. Actually, the massive fanbase of the genre is probably the best proof of its efficiency. That being said, paperbacks like Johanna Basford’s Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book or Mel Elliott’s Colour Me Good Benedict Cumberbatch, Colour Me Good Tom Hiddleston, Colour Me Good 90s are getting more and more attention now.
It works on mobile devices too
If you’re always on the go and can’t be bothered to get a fancy coloring book and dozens of crayons or markers, you can always download an app on your smartphone. There are apps that feature categories like Florals, Animals, Patterns, Mandalas and even works of famous artist like Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, Leondardo da Vinci and many more.