Coloring Therapy: Physical and Mental Benefits of Coloring for Adults and Everything you Need to Start

Coloring books are more than just a fun activity for kids.

The adult coloring book craze has spread across the country, with some even making bestseller lists. With the numerous health benefits of adult coloring, it may be time to break out the crayons, colored pencils, and markers!

They haven't been for a long time – adult coloring books gradually gained popularity until they appeared on New York Times bestseller lists in 2011 and 2012. They have remained a popular adult hobby ever since.

Many adults color not only to relive their childhoods but also to express themselves. Adult coloring can be a relaxing and anxiety-reducing activity. Coloring even one page of an adult coloring book helps to spark creativity and restores the simple joys of youth. It is an activity that takes us away from ourselves and focuses on creating something beautiful. It is a type of art therapy that involves both the rational and creative sides of our brain. It also improves our vision and fine motor skills.

Adults benefit from repetitive patterns and intellectual and artistic challenges, which lead to mental and even physical health benefits. Here are 10 significant advantages of coloring for adults:

1. Adult coloring reduces anxiety and stress

Coloring can relax your brain's fear center, the amygdala. It induces the same state as a meditation by calming the restless mind's thoughts. This promotes mindfulness and quietness, allowing your mind to rest after a long day at work.

Carl Jung was one of the first psychologists to investigate the therapeutic benefits of adult coloring books. He used mandalas as art therapy to help his patients lower their stress levels in the first half of the twentieth century. Mandalas are constructed from geometrical patterns and concentric circles. There are no restrictions on how or what colors can be used, and this freedom is both challenging and relaxing.

Coloring helps to relax the amygdala, the brain's fear center. It induces a state similar to meditation, allowing your mind to rest. Coloring can also help to reduce anxiety because it is a simple activity that requires your full attention. You have complete control over what you color, which alleviates any anxiety you may be experiencing.

Art therapy and artistic expression are excellent preludes to other types of therapy. When you are relaxed and calm, you are more open to discussing your emotions and accepting help.

2. Adult coloring engages both sides of the brain

Coloring books are usually regarded as an artistic hobby, yet they also entail logic. It is not solely a left-brain or right-brain action. It's a full-body workout that targets both sides of the cerebral cortex.

The “rational” component comes into play when we apply logic to decide which color to employ for a specific pattern. The "creative" element is where the colors are mixed and matched to create an aesthetically beautiful work of art.

Coloring also enhances our capacity to concentrate. It stimulates the frontal lobe, which is the region of our brain responsible for organization and problem-solving.

3. Adult coloring improves fine motor skills

Coloring is a fantastic developmental tool for children, but it also has physical advantages for adults.

Adult coloring books help to strengthen the muscles in our arms and hands. Coloring in small places and staying inside the lines assist to exercise and improve these muscles. Many individuals have lost these fine motor abilities as a result of living in a culture that is so focused on technology.

Coloring is also recommended as a kind of physical art therapy for the elderly. The combination of mental and physical activity aids in the maintenance of dexterity and hand-eye coordination. It can potentially assist to postpone the beginning of Alzheimer's disease. After all, even if you're simply sitting down and coloring, an active mind and body are healthy ones.

4. Adult coloring helps us reconnect with our Inner Child

Coloring pages bring back memories of our carefree childhoods. Looking back on pleasant experiences allows us to unwind and even feel enthusiastic about the future. One of the advantages of coloring is that it allows you to relive the unfettered enthusiasm and fun you had as a child. The basic, uncomplicated sensation can be a lovely respite from an adult existence that can be demanding and stressful at times.

Adults who are tough on themselves benefit from Inner Child healing therapy. It is simpler to love oneself unconditionally when we are allowed to reconnect with our inner kid through our adult coloring book. This type of art therapy can help us break negative thinking patterns that we may have established as children. This helps us become more loving and confident people, with stronger self-esteem and the ability to face the world without fear.

5. Adult coloring displaces negative emotions

When you focus on coloring a cityscape or a garden, you subconsciously replace any unpleasant ideas with pleasurable ones. Choosing a color and remaining within the lines occupy the same areas of the frontal lobe that stop worry. Any unpleasant ideas or feelings that we may have been bringing around with us throughout the day will evaporate as we concentrate on coloring.

A calm mind leads to a calm body, and vice versa. You may find stress leaking from your shoulders as you concentrate on your coloring books, and your entire posture becoming more natural and loose. It relieves stress and anxiety and improves general mental wellness.

It also helps that adult coloring books are a low-stakes hobby that may be used for art therapy. There are no rules for coloring in real-life animals, objects, and locations. You can use any color you want and be as sloppy as clean as you want. There truly isn't any way to mess it up. There isn't any way to go wrong. There are no consequences at any point in time, beginning, middle, or end. Nothing more is required of us than to color in some blank spaces.

6. Adult coloring gives us time away from technology

Our lives are increasingly dominated by technology. It is not uncommon for an adult's screen time during the day to exceed 16 hours. The majority of us work on computers, socialize through mobile phone apps, and sleep with our phones next to us in bed.

This involvement in technology only means that we must work harder to disengage. Developing activities apart from the internet is critical for maintaining general mental health and eye health.

One of the advantages of adult coloring is that it allows us to spend time away from electronics when we sit down after a long day and spend 20 or 30 minutes focusing and coloring a page. Even drawing with an app is a way of unplugging. Yes, you are still utilizing a gadget. Nonetheless, you're disconnecting from your work calendar/social media/other sources of stress and anxiety.

You can also take your coloring book with you everywhere you go. If you're stranded in an airport or bored in a coffee shop, coloring a picture or two can be pleasant. Many popular colored pencil and marker sets come with travel cases, making it simple to pack your supplies and hit the road.

7. Adult coloring encourages mindfulness

Mindfulness is the practice of focusing your attention on the current moment and accepting it with no judgment. This is a therapeutic meditation exercise that’s a great place to begin if you’re looking for the key element in happiness and reduced stress levels.

Coloring pages removes us from the center of our thoughts and focuses on the present moment. We slow down our pace in almost a meditative manner. Many people who find it difficult to tune out the outside world’s ills when meditating find coloring books to be a simpler way to get into that state.

8. Adult coloring sparks creativity

As adults, we frequently find ourselves in a rut of home-work-home as we go about our everyday lives. Hobbies allow us to get out of our routines by exercising underutilized physical and mental muscles.

Coloring sheets stimulate our creativity since they engage our brain in such a novel way. Adults who color become more creative in areas of their lives that have nothing to do with coloring: at work, in decorating their homes, and in selecting designs and colors for their clothes.

One advantage of adult coloring books is that you can convert your creations into actual works of art. You can use your most ambitious pages to beautify your home and share your pastime with family and friends.

The appeal of coloring is that it is not limited to artists or art enthusiasts. There is no minimum skill level required before purchasing your first coloring book, nor is there a test to pass. As children, we all learned to color between the lines, and that is all the prior information you truly need. Coloring has no rules and no real penalties if your design does not turn out precisely.

Adult coloring books are only intended to be entertaining, nothing more and nothing less. You can begin coloring on page one or skip around to the ones that appeal to you. You can use any palette or style you like, or you can just dive into a painting with no plan at all. You can fill your adult coloring book and your life with purple and aquamarine fairies, flowers, and skyscrapers, and everything will be fine.

The finished product also provides a distinct sense of accomplishment. Completing a coloring page is quite fulfilling, and you will find yourself wanting to do it more and more.

9. Adult coloring improves sleep

We know that avoiding using electronics at night helps us sleep better because exposure to the emitted light lowers our levels of the sleep hormone, melatonin. Coloring is a relaxing and electronic-free bedtime ritual that will not disrupt your melatonin levels.

10. Adult coloring improves focus

Coloring requires concentration, but not to the point of being stressful. It activates your frontal lobe, which is in charge of organizing and problem solving and allows you to put everything else aside and live in the moment, generating focus.

You don't have to be a professional artist to color! If you're looking for a fun way to unwind after a long day at work, coloring will do the trick. Choose something you like and color it however you want!

So I'm going to start coloring. Where Do I Begin?

Adult coloring books are a sort of art therapy that promotes creativity and serenity. It is intended to ease anxiety and give us time to focus on something other than the stress of our daily lives.

As a result, you don't need any fancy tools to get started. In adult coloring, there is no such thing as a gatekeeper. All you need is some coloring supplies and something to color.

You don't even need to buy anything. You may already have some crayons, gel pens, or colored pencils from a prior art project sitting around the house. You can look online for and print free coloring sheets that appeal to you.

If you want to look for the greatest adult coloring books and tools to buy on Amazon or at your local stationery store, here are some suggestions:

Colored Pencils

Colored pencils are popular among both beginning and experienced colorists. They generate brilliant colors, have sharp tips that are ideal for detailing, and are lightweight and easy to lay down on coloring pages. Check out our picks for the best colored pencils below. Check out our reviews of the best colored pencils for adult coloring books for more information.

Crayola Colored Pencils

Crayola's colored pencil set is ideal for beginning artists. Their largest set has up to 100 colors and is still quite reasonable, offering excellent value for money.

Crayola is a well-known brand in the market, therefore color quality is guaranteed even at a low price. The package of 100 will not break the bank, and the sheer variety of color options will inspire anyone's imagination and make adult coloring books quite enjoyable.

Arteza Colored Pencils

The ability to blend Arteza's wax-based colored pencils is astounding. Blending is so simple and appears to be limitless - you may use an eraser or a solvent, and there is no resistance even when you have five or more color layers. When you can blend and layer as many colors as you like, it opens up a whole new world of coloring possibilities.

These blendable pencils provide outstanding value for money, making them ideal for both beginning and advanced painters.

Colored Markers

Adult coloring books are often constructed of sturdier paper and include single-sided illustrations designed to be colored in with colored markers. Before you begin coloring a page, be sure your coloring book can handle the markers you've chosen!

Check out some of our favorite colored markers in the gallery below. If you want to learn more, see our evaluation of the best markers for adult coloring books.

Prismacolor Premier Double-Ended Art Markers

Assume you want to improve your adult coloring skills. In that scenario, these Prismacolor markers come with dual tips for precise detailing as well as wider brush strokes. Because the dual-ended tips share the same ink barrel, color constancy is maintained on both ends.

This is a fantastic, multi-purpose marker set that is ideal for students, beginners, and industry pros.

Staedtler Triplus Fineliner

Staedtler Triplus Fineliner markers are inexpensive and ideal for beginners. They contain water-based ink that flows from superfine needles and is great for detailing and producing wonderful, even colors. If you leave your pens uncapped, a dry-safe mechanism prevents the ink from drying out.

The set of 60 fine point pens contains a variety of tints and tones in every color of the rainbow, making it ideal for coloring pages of any theme.

Adult Coloring Books

There are tens of thousands of adult coloring books available on the market. Some people find comfort in having too many options, while others become overwhelmed. It helps to limit things down based on your preferences: do you enjoy nature and flowers, or do you prefer cityscapes? Do you wish to immerse yourself in the worlds of Marvel superheroes or Disney princesses? Do you believe the geometric patterns of coloring mandalas will be relaxing to you, or do you prefer the pandemonium of dragons and fairies?


Adult coloring has a plethora of physical and mental health benefits. It is a type of art therapy that helps alleviate stress and anxiety, create a meditative state and awareness, boost self-esteem, stimulate creativity, get us out of the hold of technology, and exercise our hands and minds.

Coloring is a hobby that any adult may pick up quickly in the comfort of their own home. There is also an eager community that comes with it - just look at the encouraging comments on coloring posts on social media.

Taking time out of our day to focus on something simple and easy has significance. Completing a piece, or even an entire coloring book, provides a fantastic sense of accomplishment. There are numerous advantages to adult coloring, so I hope you will give it a try.

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