Last Friday night Joe and I came home to a babysitter sitting at our kitchen table coloring. She might as well have been abusing our kids by the way I reacted: “What in the heck are you doing?!?” For some reason, seeing a twenty-something coloring (with no kid in sight) caught me off guard and seemed kind of….strange? We got to talking and she explained herself. She said how research has shown that coloring can be as calming and therapeutic as an hour of therapy – black leather couch and doctor – kind of therapy. So when she left, I got online and read more. And indeed, there are some promising research results: cancer patients have reported a sense of calm and comfort after only an hour of such “coloring therapy” ; the act has shown to reduce blood pressure and stress in some adults ; and college students with ADHD find it easier to focus when they color during class.
These coloring books have much more intricate, detailed designs than the kid variety and unlike traditional “art therapy,” don’t require any particular kind of artistic inclination, which might make the whole idea more palatable to some. This research has made “adult” coloring books surge in popularity and hit bestseller lists nationwide. Have you tried it? I did (briefly) but couldn’t stop thinking about all the other things I should be doing instead. The book is back in our playroom for now, but I might be more inclined to color with my kids the next time they ask.
What you’ll need: