Color Me Stress-Free: Nearly 100 Coloring Templates to Unplug and Unwind (A Zen Coloring Book)
Coloring books for adults – You might be asking yourself, “why?” This is a surprising new trend that really should not be so surprising. Adult coloring books are a fairly new thing. It is only in the last couple of years that it has caught on in the US. Before that it was wildly popular in Europe. It has grown out of the Art Therapy movement where it was found that the simple act of coloring had the ability to relieve stress and anxiety. Before this was made known there were many adults who enjoyed coloring with their children but felt a little silly doing it on their own. After all, this was child’s play, right?
Well now, if you are one of those who secretly enjoyed coloring you can have your own books with more adult themes and patterns to enjoy in your quiet time. You no longer need to feel silly as there is a good reason for you to participate.
Do They Contain Adult Themes Such As Nudity or Pornography?
Adult coloring books use a lot of different themes but they are called Adult because the patterns are far more intricate and complex than those that are designed for children. The patterns that are designed for children would eventually be rather boring for an adult. The ones that I have found are fascinating. I have not found any nudity or anything objectionable at all but I personally do not go to places like that in stores or the internet anyway.
Why Are Coloring Books for Adults So Popular?
The popularity of coloring books for adults seems to be growing by leaps and bounds. If you go to Amazon.com and check their best seller list for books you will find (at the time of this writing) three or four of these books in the top ten. There are 12 of them in the top one hundred. They are even outselling cookbooks and classics. The question is again, why?
A number of psychologists explain that the act of coloring enables us to go back in time to when life was simple and stress free. Even if our childhood was less than perfect, we were usually happily content when we were coloring. When we are focusing on choosing colors and perhaps choosing where to put lights and shadows we forget about the things that worry us. Coloring uses both sides of the brain and has a great calming effect. This reduces stress and anxiety.
One noted author explained that coloring helps him when he is stressed out about something. He will start a coloring project and when it is finished he is not only calm but he has usually also figured out the solution to the problem that caused the stress.
When something like this actually works, the word spreads and that is exactly why these coloring books for adults are becoming so popular.
Is Coloring Something I Might Be Interested In Doing?
You may not know until you try it. If you are someone who can not sit still and do nothing then this may be ideal for you. I cannot just sit and do nothing. If I am sitting, then I am on the computer or watching television or reading. If there is something for my hands to do then all the better.
If you find that stress and/or anxiety find their way into your life then this is an excellent way to just chill out. It is recommended to put on some relaxing music, find a picture or pattern that interests you and just see what you can do with it.
You may say that you do not have the time to color, that the time you take for that would be better spent on trying to solve your problems. Let me ask you something. When you have a problem to solve, can you do a better job when you are calm or when you are feeling stressed? Most people cannot think clearly to solve their problems until they find a way to calm their minds.The act of coloring has been found to do just that.
How Does Coloring Relieve Stress?
Coloring is a very simple form of art therapy. I am going to quote art therapist Susanne Fincher here, “Art making is a powerful intervention,” Fincher wrote in an email. “Neuro-scientific research has shown that through the use of art therapy, the human brain can physically change, grow, and rejuvenate.” That is good news for seniors too. Many seniors have lost the ability to do things that made life worthwhile for them. They also have to deal with life changes that they don’t particularly like. That creates a great deal of stress. Anything that can help them to calm and de-stress in addition to protecting their brain is good news.
Matt Cain is the author that I mentioned above. He states that, “If I switch off the phone, computer and TV and concentrate solely on choosing the right shade of blue, avoiding going over the lines and slowly filling up my page with color, all my other concerns, I’ve discovered, fade to nothing.”
If You Want to Be Truly Creative, Then Isn’t Coloring Between the Lines Actually Hindering That?
Not really! Many people, as children, might have learned how to write by using notebooks on writing cursive letters to get started. After practicing how to write in this manner, and learning the basics of letter writing properly, we began to practice without the aid of the book. Do you remember doing that?
On the other hand, some people may have had a natural talent and had developed a beautiful style of cursive writing without the help of such writing books. The point is that these writing books serve a very essential purpose – giving people a head start learning how to write. The exact same thing is true when it comes to adult coloring books, since many adults have a need to learn the basics of drawing. Once they have mastered this initial phase, they can start freehand drawing on their own if they choose.
In fact, when I was young I was able to draw a picture of a pony very well freehand. However, the reason I was able to do that is because I found a picture… in a book, that I copied over and over until I knew the lines very well by heart. I started out by coloring in the picture. Then I traced it onto another piece of paper. Then I practiced drawing it without any aid other than just looking at it. Can you tell that as a child I was obsessed with ponies?
If someone wants to continue on in learning methods of art they are free to do so but as you can see I would disagree with anyone that thinks that starting out this way would hinder creativity. It simply takes away the pressure of having to do your own drawing and gets you back to the relaxation and enjoyment of using colors. Not everyone wants to be an artist. Some people just want and need to have a quiet, fun way to relax.
Where can you get Coloring Books For Adults?
It is easier to find adult coloring books online than it is currently in stores. Some stores are catching on but mostly you will find the children’s variety of cartoon coloring books. This may be boring for you. Amazon has a rather large selection of adult coloring books.
Mandalas Coloring Books for Adults
One of the more popular styles of books for adults is that of Mandalas. The patterns are all in a circular shape and are very complex and intricate. Art Therapist Susanne Fincher has published several Mandalas styled books herself. You can find them on Amazon and they are described this way:
“Drawing the traditional circular designs known as mandalas is a meditative practice, a healing exercise in times of crisis, and a pleasurable act of creativity. As a symbol of the Self, the mandala provides a connection to our innermost being. The forty-eight drawings presented here for coloring include designs inspired by forms of nature, Native American and Tibetan sand paintings, Hindu yantras, Turkish mosaics, the illuminations of Hildegarde of Bingen, and the art of M.C. Escher. These mandalas are organized according to the Great Round of Mandala, a scheme of twelve archetypal stages that represents a complete cycle of personal growth. Thus, to do the coloring book from start to finish will carry the reader through a balanced experience of change, guided by the accompanying text.”
There are other artists and many more books of different styles to choose from as well. If complex circles don’t suit your taste, you can find butterflies, animals, flowers, classic art and just about anything else. Right now there are over a hundred pages on Amazon for these books. That just shows how popular they are.
What Is Involved In Using Them?
There are only a few necessary items needed to use the Adult Coloring Books. I would suggest that you set aside a few minutes of your time, turn off everything that could distract you. Turn on some soft music and let your imagination run wild. You will only need:
- Your choice of coloring books that fit your interests
- Colored pencils, crayons, or felt tip markers
- Sharpeners for the pencils
- Art gum eraser (if using pencils)
Now that is a small list and you can get started without a lot of expense. If you find like many other people, that this is something that you really enjoy and want to create beautiful vivid pictures then you may want to invest in some art quality pencils that come in many different colors, blend easily with other colors and are a pure joy to use. Once you try them you can really see the difference in the results.
Once you get started with your own coloring you may find that you are proud of the work that you have done. Not too Surprising is the fact that there are many social media groups for just that purpose.
Johanna Basford is one of the most successful illustrators and one of her books (Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book) has topped the best seller list and sold over two million copies. She has created a gallery on her website and invites her fans to share their work on it. Who knows… you may soon find some of your very own work there.
Do you use coloring to help you unwind and relax? I would love to hear some of your thoughts on the subject.