Coloring Books Aren’t Just For Kids

Earlier this year I was perusing my local craft store feeling nostalgic as I looked at the rows of vibrant colored pencils, and crayons remembering how exciting it was to open a new box with a coloring book in hand. Then I spotted them. Coloring books for grown-ups? Not that I needed permission to go nuts perfecting my coloring skills, but somehow knowing they made these things for adults intrigued me. I suddenly found myself at the checkout with four books, a box of colored pencils, and some glitter markers that may have landed in my basket because I couldn’t help myself. The combination of creating art whilst sipping a matcha latte was the very definition of bliss. Would I recommend it to reduce stress? Absolutely.

Seniors who spend time coloring with their grandchildren will not only make the kids think they’re the coolest grandparents ever, but they’re also beating depression, improving hand-eye coordination, and boosting creativity. Neuroscientist Dr. Stan Rodski has researched the stress-reducing benefit of coloring for adults, with his own line of books that he says are designed to “help the brain switch gears” A study in which participants engaged in thirty minutes per day of coloring resulted in a 46% improvement in stress levels that Dr. Rodski found to be as therapeutic as mindful breathing techniques.

We all know chronic stress, depression, and insomnia is not just taxing on the body, but it also accelerates aging. The American Art Therapy Association touts the use of art in psychiatric facilities, senior centers, and hospitals as a creative outlet to reduce anxiety, as well as improving mental, and physical health. If you watch a group of children engaging in artwork, you’ll notice for the most part that noise has decreased, and the level of focus has increased. Case in point, these youngsters can teach us a thing or two.

Adult coloring books are readily available in stores, and online in such beautiful designs, and themes, that you’ll find yourself wanting to frame your masterpiece. I used to be rubbish at coloring in the lines, but now I’m a regular Rembrandt. Practice makes perfect, right?