It would be pointless to tell a child engrossed in a coloring book that they’re practicing a form of mindfulness. After all, young children generally live in the moment anyway. Adults around the globe, though, have found that picking up a coloring book is an incredibly useful way to allow everyday worries to melt into the background. So much so, in fact, that some adult coloring books for practicing mindfulness are now topping bestseller lists online and at retail outlets.
Art Therapy has been around for a long time, and it has shed the new-age persona it might have previously. Healthcare professionals use it as a coping tool for a range of conditions, such as cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and anxiety among others. In 2006, a study at the National Institutes of Health concluded that even a little art therapy can decrease the symptoms of physical and emotional distress during treatment.
What are Some of the Most Popular Mindfulness Adult Coloring Books on Amazon?
- The Mindfulness Coloring Book: Anti-Stress Art Therapy for Busy People by Emma Farrarons
- Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book by Johanna Basford
- Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest & Coloring Book also by Johanna Basford
- Balance (Angie’s Extreme Stress Menders Volume 1) by Angie Grace
“You have to look at the shape and size, you have to look at the edges, and you have to pick a color,” Dr. Joel Pearson, a brain scientist at the University of New South Wales in Australia, said in an interview. “It should occupy the same parts of the brain that stops any anxiety-related mental imagery from happening as well. Anything that helps you control your attention is going to help.”
Because of the focus required, coloring books provide a break from smartphones, email, television and work related stress. The whole process is an exercise in meditation, which is proven to have a variety of health benefits, such as relief from chronic pain, a decrease in anxiety and a method for curbing triggers and cravings associated with recovery from addiction.
Coloring books most certainly can play an important role for adults in treatment for alcohol or drug abuse. It’s a gentle introduction to the practice of mindful meditation. Very often, those in early recovery find it difficult to focus and it takes practice and repetition to become proficient at meditation. Coloring, on the other hand, does not require an extraordinary talent and anyone can easily use a coloring book to experience a sense of accomplishment after finishing each individual piece.
The popularity of adult coloring books has even spawned an odd consequence. The Daily Mail reports that colored pencil manufacturers around the globe are having difficulty meeting the demand since the practice exploded onto the scene last year. A spokesperson for the Bavaria based Faber-Castell, a colored pencil manufacturer, told the Daily Mail, “We have noticed the effects of the coloring trend very strongly.”
Using art as a way to unplug from a ubiquitous digital world doesn’t appear to be losing steam. Even for those who aren’t suffering addiction issues, depression or other serious afflictions, have discovered that coloring is a way to bring us back in touch with the simple pleasures and healing aspects of creativity.