Have you heard of the latest craze in the adult world? We’ll give you a hint…it’s not what you’d think grown-ups would be into, but many have had extensive experience in it. Give up? It’s coloring books. That’s right, coloring books are no longer just for kids.
Adult coloring books have become the rage and many therapists and researchers are touting its calming benefits. The trend has become so popular that Crayola, the childhood favorite coloring book and crayon company, has created and released sets of markers, crayons, and coloring books for adults.
Once a niche hobby, adult coloring books have gained recommendation from researchers at Johns Hopkins University and editors of Yoga Journal who all suggest that coloring could be an effective alternative to medicine.
So amidst all this popularity and craze, what are the actual health benefits of adult coloring books? Coloring offers a slew of mental health benefits as it has been shown to “reduce anxiety, create focus and bring about more mindfulness,” according to Marygrace Berberian, a certified art therapist and the Clinical Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator for the Graduate Art Therapy Program at NYU.
Research from 2005 indicated that anxiety levels dropped significantly while subjects colored mandalas, which are round frames with geometric patterns inside. And while many perceive coloring and doodling to be the same thing, study results indicate that simple doodling had no effect at reducing stress levels.
One final word of advice for all those soon-to-be adult coloring book enthusiasts out there, research has indicated that while coloring with crayons will be beneficial, adults should skip the crayons and go straight to colored pencils. Colored pencils require more precision and precision is everything when it comes to tuning in.
If you’re still a little uneasy about adult coloring books, or are looking to get the most out of your coloring experience, Crayola has a complete guide that shows how to take your tools up a notch by blending colors, shading and adding highlights and lowlights, all to polish off your newfound masterpieces!