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Coloring pages are no longer just for kids.
These days many adults are coloring too, and not just to give them a temporary return to the days of their youth.
There are many good therapeutic reasons why adult coloring pages are all the rage these days.
This post goes over the top 10 benefits of adult coloring, and how they can make a major impact on your life.
We will look at how adult coloring helps you relieve stress and reduce anxiety. We will talk about how art therapy and adult coloring are both great therapy for some really serious diseases and mental health issues.
We will see how adult coloring can help you find a mindful state and can even be used as a form of meditation. How it can help spark creativity and bring back some of the happiness of youth.
1. Coloring for Adults Reduce Stress
The power of art therapy may be the new “hot” topic for relieving stress, but it is by no means some new-fangled millennial idea.
In fact, the idea of using coloring to relieve stress goes all the way back to one of the pioneers of modern psychology, Carl Jung.
Jung focused on the power of creating and coloring Mandalas.
A Mandala is generally an abstract geometrical form, generally either a square or a circle that is formed of objects, beings, and geometrical designs. They have often been used in many ancient cultures, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Australian Aboriginal, and Native American as a symbol of the universe, infinity, wholeness and man’s connection to that higher power.
Mandala’s are still one of the most popular types of adult coloring pages. The intricate design takes concentration to color. The patterns give options to express creativity.
Using mandalas for adult coloring can even help you meditate or find a higher state of consciousness. The aesthetically pleasing designs draw a person into the pattern.
This can help them form a semi-hypnotic state while coloring where people can sometimes get a better understanding of themselves and their place in the world.
2. Adult Coloring Pages Relieve Anxiety
Anxiety is a common mental condition that affects millions of adults. It includes panic attacks, excessive worry and thoughts of death and dying.
Anxiety presents itself with nausea, chills, fever, insomnia and sky-high stress at the thought of activities that other many people might consider “normal” activities.
Using adult coloring pages as anxiety therapy is one method of calming and soothing the persistent surge of negative emotions and swirling anxiety.
For the same reasons that anxiety can act as a gateway to mindful thinking and meditation, coloring therapy can soothe and reduce anxiety by giving you something simple, yet requiring complete focus to work on.
The patterns and colors are hypnotic and simply make you feel better, more powerful and more in charge of yourself.
All the wonderful things when you are dealing with anxiety. Furthermore, artistic expression helps anxiety sufferers to go deeper into a relaxed state. This can make other forms of therapy more effective.
Research has proven that adult coloring pages are not only a great means of self-therapy when the anxious feelings begin to increase, but it makes a great prelude to conventional therapy because it helps to quickly get the anxiety sufferer in a calmer state of mind that is more open to rational discussion.
Looking for a good book to read that will reduce those anxious feeling? Then take a few minutes to watch this video:
3. Adult Coloring Books Exercises the Entire Brain
Coloring is not a “left” brain or “right” brain thing. It is a task that exercises both hemispheres, something akin to a “full brain” workout.
When adults color they utilize the “creative side” of their brain to pick artistic color choices and provide aesthetic balance to the art. But they also use their frontal lobe for concentration, focus organizational ideas.
When adults color they also use the “rational” side of their brain for things like fine motor skills and problem-solving. This makes the coloring a simple task that truly takes your entire brain to complete.
4. Coloring for Adults Spark Creativity
I have a job that runs off of creativity. I am constantly thinking of new blog posts, new chapter ideas, new blog post ideas, new ideas for infographics, for marketing. It begins to wear on you, and some days I simply have no creative juices left at all. The spark of creativity seems doused.
One thing you can do in times like that is adult coloring. Coloring empties your mind. While you are spending all your focus on the minute details of coloring your mind begins to wander a bit.
Similar to mindfulness and meditation, this freedom for your mind allows you to make connections where before there were none. Sometimes this means personal growth and sometimes this means some nice creative ideas where there were none before.
5. Coloring Pages Help You to Be Self Aware and Mindful
Mindfulness is the practice of purposefully focusing all of your attention on the current moment, and accepting it without judgment. This is a great place to start if you are looking for the key element in happiness.
When you spend time coloring the more complex designs in adult coloring pages, you need to focus and block out the world. Without realizing it, or even trying, you are often practicing mindfulness while coloring.
While mindful thinking is about a wider variety of tasks than just coloring, this becomes great practice to teach you methods to slow down from our hectic world and increase mindfulness.
Adult coloring pages are an excellent mindfulness exercise. It gives you something to focus deeply on while the cares of the day fall away. It helps you find the focus that is key to mindful thinking.
6. Adult Coloring Can Be a Form of Meditation
As an adult, coloring can actually help you to find a higher state of consciousness. The aesthetically pleasing designs draw a draws you into the pattern. Subtly soothing away anxiety, stress, depression and anger.
This complex patterns of the art you are coloring can actually induce you into a semi-hypnotic state while coloring. This can, in turn, give you a better understanding of yourself and your place in the world.
That is basically what mediation is all about. Doing nothing, relaxing and defocusing while stopping the chatter of a restless mind.
Many people who find it difficult to “tune out” the world while meditating seem to find adult coloring pages and coloring books to a far simpler way to set the same basic effect.
7. Coloring as an Adult Brings Back Happy Memories of Childhood
Coloring is a simple exercise. Just about all of us spent many hours coloring as children. It was fun. It was easy. It was distracting.
The same is true as an adult. Sometimes you are doing some adult coloring you channel a bit of your old self as a child, and you begin to have the unbridled fun and excitement you used to have as a kid.
Children get simple joy from simple things. It is one of the great things about being a kid. Being able to get that simple joy in completing a simple task like coloring, even if only for a moment, is well worth the effort.
8. Adult Coloring Pages Can Be Useful Therapy to Some Common Diseases
Epilepsy: Studies have shown that adult coloring is an effective therapy for those who suffer from Epilepsy. The concentration, mindfulness, calming effects and difficult motor control work of adult coloring seems to decrease the occurrence of epileptic attacks.
Cancer: Coloring as an adult is not going to directly affect cancer. How could it? However one of the big problems with cancer treatments is that they make you extremely ill, distressed and depressed.
Studies in art therapy have shown that adult coloring has a significant positive impact on patient morale, health and side effect issues from standard cancer treatments.
Alzheimer's/Dementia: There are few diseases I can think of worse than this one. Slowly losing your mind while you are still around. It is devastating. Adult coloring is not going to magically reverse these problems. But it has shown to be one of the effective therapies that can be used.
The choices involved with focused coloring keep you “exercising” important synapses. But perhaps more importantly, the smell of crayons and the act of coloring can spark pleasant childhood memories.
9. Adult Coloring Pages Displaces Negative Emotions
Worried about bills, your health, your family, your job or your future?
Most adults feel these fears, anger, resentment pretty much constantly. It is difficult to not have these emotions in an uncertain world.
But these negative emotions do little to help us improve our lot in life. All they do is make us feel bad when we spend to much time dwelling on the uncertainty.
With the absolute focus of coloring, these negative emotions fade away and the negative emotions are slowly replaced with positive ones as fears and resentments are replaced with happiness, joy and creativity.
Dr. Stan Rodski, a famous Neuropsychologist claims that adult coloring brings about real neurological effects in the brain. “We started seeing changes in heart rate, changes in brain-waves…the most amazing things occurred,” he said when discussing the results of coloring therapy for adults.
10. Coloring Pages Give You an Adult “Time Out”
When we were kids a “time out” was a bad thing. Time doing nothing. Five minutes of forced inactivity seemed like hard prison time in solitary confinement. These days the ideas of a “time out” from adult life seems like quite a pleasurable experience.
Adult coloring can do that for you. We talked about how coloring is a “whole brain” process earlier. It is an easy activity, it doesn’t take mental gymnastics to accomplish some cool coloring as an adult, but it does take your full concentration.
What this means is that when you are coloring other things drop away. Thoughts of bills, car payments, your fight with the spouse, the tough assignment at work. All of these worries drop away for your short coloring “time out”. It can be quite restful and relaxing.
Adult Coloring Tools
One of the great things about adult coloring is that you do not need a lot of fancy tools. Some crayons, colored pencils or markers (if you are feeling bold). Is all you need.
All of these are things you may have lying around the house, or that can be easily purchased for very little money.
Below are some of the top rated options for adult coloring tools. I have included one of each for colored pencils, markers and crayons.
Artlicious Colored Pencils are made with thick, soft leads, so they won't break easily under pressure. The smooth colors are perfect for color mixing and blending, as well as practicing more detailed techniques. Perfect for all types of coloring pages, including intricate adult coloring pages.
Artlicious Colored Pencils are the perfect tools for coloring! These colored pencils bring out the beauty of even the most detailed coloring pages.
The different colors offer a rich and diverse palette to keep you calm, cool and colorful. Artlicious colored pencils are the best pencils for adult coloring.
The ultimate set of crayons. 400 different shades. Kids will love these, as will the kid inside you. Superior quality coloring crayons.
These crayons are non-smudging, non-flaking and laboratory tested to provide true color coverage. Bulk packaged for ease of use and convenient storage in brilliantly colored, sturdy displays.
If you want to color with markers, this is probably the set you want. Each pen has dual tips, one for fine detail work and calligraphy, one for larger marker strokes.
All brush and fine liner work well with no skipping or ink flow issue, the ink dries fast. This is the perfect gift and addition for artists, students, kids, and of course, for adult coloring.
Popular Adult Coloring Books
Now that you have seen how helpful the benefits of adult coloring can be. You may want to get started with the coloring and see what it can do for your stress, anxiety, happiness, and overall stability.
Below are three places where you can find large collections of free printable adult coloring pages.
Adult Coloring Pages Collections (Free Printables)
Just Color: This will be your KEY to finding adult coloring pages. It has a giant selection of adult coloring pages separated into different sections. Easy to navigate. Easy download and print these pages.
And there are quite a few pages. If you only check-out one coloring page, this is the one. Bookmark it and come back for more, again-and-again.
Fave Coloring Pages: Large collection of coloring pages. Some for kids. Some for adults. The previous link if for the adults coloring pages only section, where they have 43 pages to choose from. Plus some seasonal coloring pages ready for use.
Super Coloring: This is one of the most massive collections of coloring pages. It can be bit hard to find just the page you are looking for because they have so many pages and many times, more difficult, “adult” coloring pages designs are mixed in right next to simple child designs in the themes they have chosen.
But if you have the time to look and want a wide variety of designs for your coloring art, this page should be a sure-fire hit.
Best Selling Adult Coloring Books
There are thousands of adult coloring books out there you can but.
In fact, if you check out this list of the top 50 adult coloring books. You can get a pretty good idea of what is out there. It is sorted by category to make finding the “right” coloring book for you easier.
As a preview, I have 4 of the most popular* adult coloring books here for you to check out.
*Popularity based on Amazon ranking at the time of writing this post.
The four adult coloring books here are a nice cross-section of what is available for purchase for adult stress relief.
The first two are collections of intricately designed pictures designed to make you focus and pay full attention while coloring.
The third is an irreverent “adult” book that uses the power of curse words as a cathartic tool. Coloring out F**k stress actually can make you feel quite a bit less stress. (of course, this is not for the kiddos).
Finally, there is the perfect coloring book for an 11-year-old girl or anyone who wants to remember the 11-year-old girl inside themselves. Thomas Kinkade is one of the greatest artists of our time and known for his use of light and color.
Coloring his picture should be a challenge and give you a great work of art when completed.
Final Thoughts on Benefits of Adult Coloring
Hopefully, this post has given you a good idea of many of the advantages of adult coloring. Coloring is no longer just for kids. It brings back good memories, reduces stress and anxiety, exercises the brain, sparks creativity and much more.
And if you're looking for more resources on benefits of adult coloring, be sure to check out these blog posts:
- 39 Best Adult Coloring Books to Help Relax
- 17 Printable Stress Management Worksheets & Templates
- 23 Healthy Ways to Deal with Stress in 2023