Coloring Books for Adults Are The New Way To Relax

Coloring books for adults are the new way to relax and unwind. :: www.nurturedmama.net

The first time I came across a coloring book designed especially for adults was in my local upscale stationary store. I was looking for a new coloring book for my daughter, but my eye was drawn to a display of large, beautiful books published by Usborne for grownups. Of course I had to get one. Since then I’ve been hooked.

I’ve seen mandala coloring bookscoloring patterns drawn by well-known illustrators and books with detailed designs in the style of Zendoodles.

Why so popular? Well, it turns out that coloring is good for adults in exactly the same way it is good for children. Focus on coloring a page stills our minds, while also stimulating the brain areas that control motor skills, creativity, and the senses (at least 3 of them, please don’t eat your crayons!).

Psychologist Gloria Martinez Ayala, quoted in this article from Huffpost Spain,  describes how coloring activates both halves of the brain and promotes relaxation:

The action involves both logic, by which we color forms, and creativity, when mixing and matching colors. This incorporates the areas of the cerebral cortex involved in vision and fine motor skills [coordination necessary to make small, precise movements]. The relaxation that it provides lowers the activity of the amygdala, a basic part of our brain involved in controlling emotion that is affected by stress.

What do you need to get yourself this kind of relaxation? Not much, which is another benefit of the activity – you can do it almost anywhere. You just need a picture to color and something to color with. Crayonscolored pencils, markers or gel pens all work fine. No special art supplies are required and there is no wrong way to do this.

Here are some of the coloring books I seen for grown ups:

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Mandalas

Mandala patterns were used in relaxation therapies by Carl Jung in the early 20th century. The form is even older – the word “mandala” comes from Sanskrit and means “circle” or “spirit” and in eastern culture represents the universe or unity. Some believe that focusing on a question or intent while coloring or drawing a mandala is a powerful way to facilitate meditation and access your inner intuition.

 

 

Fun Designs

 

Intricate Designs

 

Print Your Own!

  • I have a printable coloring sheets board on Pinterest with links to pages for both children and adults. Most of these are free.
  • If you sign up for Dover’s email list, they send out free coloring sheets to subscribers regularly
  • There are also sites that have free mandala coloring pages for either kids or adults.

So the next time your kids want to color, pull out your own coloring book and join them. Coloring is now a favorite after-dinner-but-before-bed activity in our house.

Do you have a favorite grown-up coloring book? Share it in the comments!

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7 Responses to Coloring Books for Adults Are The New Way To Relax

  1. katepickle October 31, 2014 at 11:32 pm #

    We ALL love colouring and drawing at our house.
    My 7 year old and his great aunt have a special ‘thing’ going on where she starts of a zentangle and posts it to him, he adds to it and sends it back etc etc… so lovely!
    katepickle recently posted…EReaders: Love em or Hate em?My Profile

    • Doña November 2, 2014 at 9:56 am #

      What a great idea to do collaborative zentangling! I love it.

  2. Cathy Krizik October 31, 2014 at 7:22 am #

    I now know what I’m asking for for Christmas! Thanks Dona. I bet colored pencils are the best, right? A few months back I started playing solitaire on my iphone. I never thought I’d be one of those people but I found it so relaxing…the ideal distraction. EVentually, I had to trash the app…it was making me (and my family) nuts. While not as portable, coloring sounds just as distracting minus the yuckiness of spending more time staring at digital devices.

    • Doña October 31, 2014 at 9:07 am #

      So I guess I shouldn’t tell you about the fun coloring book app I found for Stella on my iPad, huh? 😉 I do like colored pencils best, but I have friends who prefer thin markers. Experiment!

  3. Deb @ inner compass designs October 30, 2014 at 5:24 am #

    When my girls were 5 & 7 we spent 3 mo driving in Europe. My mother in law gave them adult level colouring books when we visited them in France. I then joined the girls in colouring and discovered something that relaxed me for the first time in my life. I learned about repetitive tasks that stop me from overthinking. Fapn ever since.

    I just brought home the secret garden colouring book you listed. On my wish list is Lisa congdon’s newly released books.
    Deb @ inner compass designs recently posted…Free ebook – Listen to the voice of your heartMy Profile

    • Doña October 30, 2014 at 9:45 am #

      What an awesome trip that must have been, Deb! I’d love to do something like that. And it is so cool that you discovered the benefits of coloring that way.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. How To Meditate If You Can't Sit Still - Nurtured Mama - November 18, 2014

    […] week I wrote about how coloring is a great way to relax, and I mentioned above that my head clears when I am knitting. Another way I love to calm my mind […]

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