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Adults report coloring helps relieve stress and tension

By Bonnie Davis Guy

coloring.1Adult coloring books can be found everywhere, from discount stores to high-end bookstores, as well as the Internet. Our evening coloring projects are even dominating water cooler conversations. So, if you’re not yet on board, have you ever wondered what is making adult coloring books so popular and why are some people swearing by them?
The answer seems to be two fold. First, adult coloring books are beautiful and appealing. Many times the books are unfinished copies of art found in the best galleries.  Anyone can use their own creative color choices to complete the pages. The second part is simple. Adults who color report they feel tension slip away as they unplug for a while. It allows them time to unwind and not think about their stressful day as they concentrate on the beautiful colors and images they are creating.
Adult coloring books first hit the scene back in 2013, but have been growing in popularity ever since. Scottish illustrator Johanna Basford was the first to come out with her “Secret Garden.” The initial publication was 16,000 copies. To date, the book has sold over six million copies. With success like that, this new venue for relaxation suddenly became big business, attracting artists from all genres. You can now find a book containing any art style that appeals to you. Many artists view this new form of art as a way to not only reach the masses, but to also have people add their own personal artistic flare to the piece.
Whatever the reason for the mass appeal, adult coloring books are now one of the world’s fastest growing hobbies. The Internet hasn’t been left behind in the craze. Sites such as Amazon and other booksellers have a wide variety of choices and price ranges. You do not have to spend a fortune to enjoy this hobby.  For those who are frugal, there are literally hundreds of free pages available online at sites such as Pinterest that you can choose.  Even Facebook is getting in on the act with an adult coloring community page. For those who like to share their efforts, there are forums and message boards galore. Adult coloring has taken on a life of its own with followers from every country and every walk of life.
Why is coloring, a quiet time activity once reserved for children, so popular among adults these days? Beyond the appeal of the beauty and creativity of the project is the escape that the activity allows. Art therapy has been used for many reasons, including relieving anxiety and stress. While in no way can adult coloring be compared to professional art therapy, many researchers and therapists agree coloring can be therapeutic. Many adults are now choosing coloring as their go to method for evening time while they unwind and let go of the day’s stress. People also experience a boost of pride when our creative juices flow and we create a knockout picture.
Adult coloring books may be a fast growing trend but like many other creative hobbies and trends such as knitting, crocheting, and woodworking, it may be here to stay.  Expressing our creative side while de-stressing and not breaking the bank is a hard to beat combination.