Lawson: Coloring: more than a kindergarten pastime

adult coloring books

Courtesy of Wikimedia commons

adult coloring books

Angelica Lawson

A huge trend is happening right now and it’s been going on for quite some time — adult coloring. Personally, I thought it was a bunch of hoopla to get grown people to buy coloring books and make it socially acceptable for them to sit around wasting time.

I often wondered why you would need “adult” coloring books. It seems like a money pit because these are coloring books after all and when you slap “adult” on the cover the price automatically escalates.

Coloring pencils, markers and all of the regular tools needed for coloring are then added to the mix, but are branded as “adult.” They can be found with the adult coloring books — where the adults will pay extra money for a childhood hobby — just for being adults. 

I don’t know why this bothered me so much. It’s just smart branding to take something outdated like a coloring book and make it trendy again. Adding accessories that are “necessary” for the new trend is a great way to keep an idea growing and trending

I only recently had a change of heart because one of my good friend’s doctors suggested that she consider a calm and stress-relieving activity.

Coloring, he suggested coloring.

What’s worse is that she loves it. It helps her relax and gets her into a calm state of mind. I took to google after this epiphany and did a little research. I quickly remembered that there is actually something called art therapy, and I was hit in the face with information I already knew.

The American Art Therapy Association credits adult coloring with allowing the artist to “explore feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, manage behavior and addictions, develop social skills, reduce anxiety and increase self-esteem.” 

I had to re-educated myself, which means in order for more people to jump on the coloring book bandwagon the public also needs a little re-education.

The freedom that comes from art has been proven to be beneficial for people in so many different ways.

I’m not the only one who didn’t understand the hype of adult coloring books; it turns out that the author of an article published in Shape magazine went through the same thing. She was not into the hype of adult coloring and then bought a coloring book and gave into the reality.

Adult coloring books have been gaining so much popularity. At one point this past summer, a coloring book was ranked above Harper Lee’s highly anticipated return to literature, “Go Set A Watchman,” on Amazon’s top best sellers.

A new group has emerged as a result of the coloring trend. Members of this group call themselves “colorists.” This is a clear indication that the coloring trend has no end in sight. The people who call themselves colorists are referring to themselves as people who enjoy coloring as a hobby; they are not the colorists who are responsible for the colorings in comic books, TV or coloring in any other professional aspect.

Coloring is actually good for you. Participants who colored mandalas showed experienced decreased levels of anxiety, according to a study from 2005. Coloring is the new form of meditation taking over the nation.

It can be relaxing and freeing as well as help spark your creative juices and help you perk up on a day that is dragging.

As the owner of mandala coloring book, I agree that it is like a mental breakthrough. It is just so freeing to not be distracted by everything else and having that overwhelming sense of quietness and calmness. It is really nice during high-stress times, and I’m sure they will be nice to have during exam times and the dreaded finals week.

It seems like coloring is more than just a childhood pastime. 

Here’s to coloring: invest in one of the adult coloring books. Unleash your creativity and reduce the stress and anxiety in your life. Who knows how 20 minutes of coloring can affect your daily routine and entire lookout on life?