Coloring books: Why they're good for adults, too

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Coloring books are proven to have helped reduce anxiety and improve focus.

CNN reports adult coloring books, just like meditation, provide various mental health benefits. While kids have fun using different colors from their Crayola box, adults, too, can now enjoy coloring shapes and patterns especially designed for their age.

According to the American Art Therapy Association, art therapy lets people “explore feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety and increase self-esteem.”

Aside from learning more about themselves, art therapy can also be a venue for self expression and improvement.

Adult coloring books, however, isn’t technically considered as an art therapy since art therapies should be done between a client and a therapist, said art therapist Marygrace Barberian, a clinical assistant professor and program coordinator for the Graduate Art Therapy Program at the NYU.

Despite that, taking a sweet time coloring pages with geometrical patterns still gives a calming effect and helps a person develop more focus by switching off unnecessary thoughts as they concentrate on coloring inside the lines.

“Coloring definitely has therapeutic potential to reduce anxiety, create focus or bring [about] more mindfulness,” Barberian explained. 

Mindfulness, as explained by clinical psychologist Melanie Greenberg in an article in Daily Burn, is “the practice of being in the moment and deliberately noticing every sensory experience, while also separating direct experience, thoughts and feelings from judgments about them.”

People with emotional and mental problems could use adult coloring books on their alone time to feel better.

“I truly believe that people should be engaging in activities that make them feel restored,” Barberian added.

According to a 2005 study, people who colored mandalas have dropped more anxiety levels than those who only did doodling.

Adult coloring books are now popular among those who like to relax. The first set of successful adult coloring books were published commercially in 2012 and 2013.