It’s no surprise to see how quickly adult coloring books became trendy- we are stressed, anxious and overworked. It’s a feel-good activity with a touch of childhood nostalgia that allows us to flex our creative muscles.
You can find them everywhere and anywhere- it’s a cross-country hype with no signs of slowing down. Eight books of the 20 best-sellers list on Amazon are… you guessed it, adult coloring books. People are organizing clubs and parties around the activity; there are books, apps, you can download and print templates and color mandalas, enchanted forests and swear words. You name it, you paint it.
Being one of the hottest trends for 2016, is very easy to access and dive into it. Even so that some companies are inviting the activity into their offices, giving employees time to expand their creative side. Instead of going out for that cigarette or your third cup of coffee, move towards the break room, grab your color pencils and zone in with a template of your liking. Adult coloring relaxes and minimizes stress, because is a monotonous, with very little choice-making drama (pick a color already! If you don’t like the finished result, just grab another of the gazillion templates available) and provides structure, it promises calmness and the very needed time-out from the computer screen.
Another benefit of adult coloring books is the stimulation of the creative flow. It’s known that mindless tasks such as cleaning, walking the dog or coloring all let your brain focus on other matters while engaging on this “mindless physical tasks”. Next time you are road blocked or stuck in a creative rut, mix up your schedule and alternate working with a coloring session to stimulate your creative thinking. Encouraging employees to use their left side of the brain have inspire them to think outside the box and helped in the brainstorming process for new concepts at work.
While we all agree on the benefits of adult coloring books whether you are in the office or coloring while binging on Netflix (hey, don’t judge) we shouldn’t mislabel it as art therapy nor think it’s the answer for all our stress related problems. Coloring books are therapeutic, not art therapy. But, that doesn’t mean that the activity isn’t helpful or a good idea. It’s great for not so artistic people to feel artsy, good for meditating without being meditation and feeling creative without actually having to create something.
Color for the sake of coloring, as a simple and straightforward activity without psychoanalyzing the choice of color or template or chanting mantras while coloring your mandala. In an era where our psychological disorders have increased, it’s no wonder we are powering off our devices and picking up our colored pencils to cope with the demands of life.
Certainly coloring is the way to go in the fast-paced world if you want the relief and mindfulness without the paralysis of the blank page syndrome. The paradox of choice, being overwhelmed from the infinity of possibilities of options, it’s just too much for me.
Pick a color, stay inside the lines and enjoy.