What Are Adult Coloring Books Supposed To Do, & Do They Work?
When Adult Coloring Books first started coming out, I could not for the life of me figure out what all the fuss was about. I wondered, as I often do, is this a real thing? I decided to dig a little deeper - just for you all. (Okay for me too. I live for this kind of detective work.)
According to Dr. Nikki Martinez, Psy.D. LCPC and contributor to the Huffington Post, Adult Coloring can help stress in many ways:
An article in Psychology Today had a wealth of information and, for those of you who take your nerd-ness seriously, links to actual studies on the effects coloring has on adults. The author, Sharnna Ali, PhD, found that Adult Coloring Booked are “therapeutic, but they aren’t therapy.” Which actually makes me relieved because I’m paying my therapist a good bit of money! I would be dismayed to learn I could have just bought a coloring book! What she means by this is that the studies found it will help you get out of an anxious state, but it won't reduce the condition of Anxiety. It really makes sense if you think about all the times you've doodled on notebooks, book covers, napkins, place-mats, your hand and so on and so on. Also, and interestingly enough, Mandalas reduced stress more than other shapes or free drawing, and a guided Mandala class reduced stress more than unguided coloring.
How do you find the coloring book that's right for you?
I actually found my first (and to this day still my favorite) coloring book at Walgreens. I then went on a collecting spree. I ended up with a Disney Villains one, a Dr. Seuss theme, Firefly (the series - Yay!! - more nerd stuff), dragonflies, and even motivational word sayings. Anything you can possibly want to color, is out there waiting to be discovered.
“What’s your favorite coloring theme?”
Next, look at the patterns in the book. (I didn’t do this at first, and now those awesome books I mentioned before are just sitting with pages half done.) Turns out, I like bigger areas that I can color in. Some people will love filling the tiniest of details. That actually raises my stress level. Sometimes I can pretend the teeny designs aren’t there and color over them. I focus on the bigger spaces that encompass them instead.
Are you drawn to certain shapes? Do you have a favorite theme - in the city, cats, random sayings? What would draw you in and bring your mind to what you are adding color to? What will it say to you when you are done and you have brought it alive?
Color With What?
I haven't had luck with markers, but some people love them, and there are a huge assortment to choose from. The ones I’ve tried were too dark for the pictures, in my opinion. I like the contrast in light and darkness, and the array of colors I get with the colored pencils.
And of course we couldn’t forget gel pens. I have not tried them yet, but there are also a ton of choices when it comes to these tools. There are sparkly ones and metallic ones and all sorts you can imagine. These are on my list to try, so I will keep you posted.
All in all, if you are still skeptical at this point, I recommend you just try it. Who knows? You just may like it. Enjoy!
Eclectic crochet fanatic & designer. Mpls, Sci Fi, God, JRTs, girls-6,6,3 & hubs=love. firstname.lastname@example.org