If you are feeling anxious and under pressure, there are several tried and tested methods of stress relief – some people turn to yoga, some jog, some meditate, some listen to music, some engage in hobbies, some take long walks in the nature, some spend more time with their pets and some resort to coloring books. Wait! What? Coloring books? Aren’t those for kids who are just starting to learn how to color inside borders? Apparently not! Coloring books for adults have become all the rage as of recently and are thought to be a very efficient relaxation technique.
Believe it or not, one of the first psychologists to recommend coloring for de-stressing was Carl Jung, back in the early 20th century. So, what is so magical and beneficial about coloring? According to psychologist Gloria Martinez Ayala, coloring is an activity that “involves both logic and creativity”. It also “incorporates the segments of our cerebral cortex responsible for our vision and fine motor skills.” Additionally, because of its relaxing effect, coloring reduces the activity of the amygdala, a part of our brain that controls emotions that are affected by anxiety and stress.
Not only that, coloring is a great vehicle for self-expression, it is fun and, believe it or not, addictive, but in a good way. If we have intrigued you just a little bit and you would like to have a go at coloring, here are a few coloring books that we thought are definitely worth trying:
- Just Add Color: Mid-Century Modern Mania – The book contains 30 original designs from artist and illustrator Jenn Ski. It also has 64 perforated pages to make it easy to share your artwork or hang it on the wall or the refrigerator.
- Natural Wonders – A book of 32 delicate illustrations by Patrick Hruby depicting flora and fauna. A cool feature of this coloring book is that each of the illustrations is printed on only one side of the paper to ensure that the coloring pens don’t leave the mark on another image. Just like Jenn Ski’s book, this one also has perforated pages.
- Zen Doodle Coloring Book – We love the title of this book and are pretty much sure that you can achieve a Zen state by coloring it in. The book contains Zentangle-inspired art which will not only help you to decompress but will also gently usher you into a state of subtle meditation.
- Balance (Angie’s Extreme Stress Menders Volume 1) – Have you heard of stress mending circular whimsical art? If you haven’t, now is the time to get the coloring book illustrated by Angie Grace. It contains 50 very unique designs that are suitable both for connoisseur colorists and older children.
- Calming Coloring: Nature Patterns – This book, containing drawings of a South African artist Graham McCallum, is an intricate collection of 80 designs inspired by nature. There are leaves, seeds, trees, petals and landscapes that are just waiting for your coloring endeavors.