Coloring Your Way to Calm

It often seems that as we grow into adulthood and become more wrapped up in stress, we look back to a point in our lives were prolonged stress was not a normal state. Perhaps this is the reason why adult coloring books are coming into popularity as a new attempt to get back to the carefree, calmness of coloring as kids. Last week, even Justin Bieber got into the coloring craze.


Justin Bieber / Via Instagram: @justinbieber


Using coloring as a form of dealing with stress goes as far back as Carl Jüng, who used the technique as a way to help his patients relax.  Coloring has the ability to allow you to focus on a given task and in doing so, reach a state of calm similar to meditation.


While you can use any of the various adult coloring books available, from Harry Potter to Yves Saint Laurent books, the best symbol to color is the mandala. With its intricate circles that form various patterns, a mandala, which comes from India, is great for relaxing coloring because focusing on its different color and geometric patterns mimic a meditative state. Creating your own mandala is even more calming, since the mandala you create is considered to be a reflection of your soul. Learn how to create your own mandala at


In terms of the best technique for calm coloring, crayons are great to use but, color pencils give you a better ability to color complicated pieces and concentrate on staying within the lines. This concentration on your task is what leads many to forget external problems and reach a calm state.


Though some adults may discredit the use of coloring to destress, what cannot be dismissed is the ability for coloring to take you away from your worries by allowing you to zone in on the page and the color patterns. If it can calm down a 22 year old pop star for 30 minutes, just think of how it can ground you!


Resources and Further Reading:


NCBI: Psychological and Autonomic Effects of Art Making in College-aged Students


CNN: Why Adult Coloring Books are Good for You


NYMag: A Neuroscientist Patiently Explains the Allure of the Adult Coloring Book


BeBrainFit: Anti-Stress Coloring Books for Adults: The Latest Way to Relax



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