Maliha Kareem

Many adults are turning to coloring books when they need to de-stress.

Maliha Kareem, Reporter

Coloring books aimed toward adults have recently spiked in popularity. These books serve much more than meets the eye, such as being a therapeutic method that is beneficial to one’s mental  health, and serving as an exercise for the brain.

The practice of coloring for relaxation is not a novel idea. In fact, it has been around for decades. In the early 20th century Carl Jung would prescribe patients to color on a mandala; often being a circular figure with intricate designs, they represent the wholeness of life and aim to reach beyond body and mind. Coloring for therapeutic purposes has been long embraced by Eastern cultures and religions, and it’s only now spiking in popularity in the west.

Senior Riley Bailey says, “To me it doesn’t have that much appeal or relaxation to it; there are better things people can do.”

It is scientifically proven that coloring has a positive impact on the brain. Coloring allows the amygdala in our brain, which is responsible for our fight or flight response along with fear and anger, to help calm and relax. This technique has been studied and has shown to have a very positive response to individuals with PTSD and heightened anxiety.  Also, coloring “opens up” the frontal lobe of a person by stimulating their critical thinking and organization. The process involves such aspects of color scheme and creates a piece that matches what one envisions, thus being unique to each individual.

“I have a few adult coloring books. I would recommend it for everyone; there is no thought [in] what you put into it, it’s a nice way to escape and you don’t really need the artistic ability to do it,” says junior, Adrian Soccor.

Adults who color are able to morph it into an individual activity as well as a social one. It is a hobby for many adults and there are organized classes that one can partake in if interested. It allows individuals to go back to a simpler time and practice mindfulness.

Senior Elizabeth Bellersen notes, “I think it would be therapeutic and helpful to some people.”

Along with many other activities, coloring has no age or gender attached to it, and it’s an activity that anyone can participate in.