Before smartphones and tablets became the entertainment of choice for children, they were into toys and activity books. As a person who grew up in the age before technology became the game changer that it is today, I was into dolls and coloring books as a child. I loved collecting crayons in all colors and sizes and cherished the coloring books that my mother got me every other week. This activity helped in developing my artistic skills, which I have now channeled into makeup and fashion as an adult.
For the past few years, there has been a resurgence of coloring books for adults. Like my brief recollection of my childhood, it took men and women back to days where they didn’t have to think of any responsibility. It was a time of freedom to enjoy whatever they wanted, with no one stopping them. This feeling of nostalgia helps in making coloring books feel therapeutic to adults as they remember the good times they had when they were children.
There is also a significant change in today’s coloring books than yesteryears as those intended for adults features more complicated designs like abstract prints and mandalas. The latter design, a well-known spiritual and ritual symbol, has proven to lessen anxiety among other patterns like these studies that compared it against a plaid print and a blank page.
Those suffering from mental disorders and issues benefit from coloring books as it can help them shift their negative mindset to a positive one safely and productively. Coloring books foster mindfulness, as getting into the activity makes one focus at the task on hand. Instead of thinking about what the future will bring, it makes one fully absorb the present as they concentrate on bringing the image alive with colors.
Although some healthcare professionals prescribe this activity to patients, that doesn’t mean that this replaces therapy. Even though one form of therapy that is picking up steam is art therapy, it is best to consult one’s doctor on what is the best option for their condition.
Art therapy has made people express feelings that they can’t put into words into artworks, but there is also a debate that coloring is not one of its legitimate forms. Some experts claim that the activity does not practice artistic input from the patient.
However, everyone has their take on art. Some people consider artistic endeavors as those starting from scratch until the final result: conceptualizing, sketching, coloring, and the like. Others might consider something as simple as coloring to be art since not everyone has an eye for mixing and matching colors. Art is subjective and is in the eye of the beholder.
In a way, coloring books can also be an alternative to meditation due to its relaxing effect. Yoga and other similar techniques aren’t just the only options for one to calm their mind. They can look into these new and improved activity books of the past to help them feel better whenever they are anxious, stressed, or depressed.
1st and featured image from https://unsplash.com/photos/lI1z94nf0RM
2nd image from https://pixabay.com/photos/crayons-coloring-book-coloring-book-1445054/