Stressed out? Color up!

Stressed out? Color up!


Visit any bookstores nearby and you’re bound to find a stack of coloring books on the best-selling shelves. The books are actually similar to those we’ve well acquainted with since childhood, but what set it apart is how nowadays they are marketed to burned-out adults and titled as “adult coloring book”. Claimed to have a various therapeutic effect, these kinds of books has been gaining massive popularity in the past two years. So much so that three of Amazon’s 10 best-selling books in 2015 were coloring titles for grown-ups. And while we might not have any data from the local bookstores, the adult coloring book craze is most likely apparent on our social media feeds.

According to the American Psychological Association, last year Americans reported being more stressed than the year before—and this might explain the growth in adult coloring book trend. Popular for its relaxation benefits, the increase in adult coloring books sells might indicate that the numbers of people who seek for stress-relieving activity are also increasing. Adult coloring books might also gain its widespread popularity because coloring less effort compared to other relaxation methods like meditation or exercise.

Other than that, it also has several notable benefits. According to clinical psychologist Ben Michaelis, coloring is a stress-free activity that relaxes the amygdala — the fear center of the brain — and allows your mind to get the rest it needs. Clinical counselor Leslie Marshall also notes that the activity "opens up the frontal lobe of the brain — the home of organizing and problem solving — and focuses the mind" by allowing colorers to forget their worries. As an addition to all these clinical benefits, in the end of the day, people who colors can revel in their creation which further gives them a sense of accomplishment.

However, despite all the benefits, some argue that this is but a fad. Coloring is also been accused of causing declination by making adult do what is considered as a childish activity. Some other, who never had a particular interest in art activities can even feel rather frustrated when asked to color. Therefore, while it might not be universally beneficial, coloring is surely a much-needed alternative for those who want to take a step back and take a peaceful moment between their fast-paced, stress-prone lives. So why don't give it a shot?


Sources: BustleChicago tribuneQuartz

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