The other day I went to Barnes and Noble and to my surprise right at the entrance of the store there was adult coloring books. I opened up one of these coloring books and found beautiful black and white intricate designs that can be beautifully colored by adults. Adult coloring books have come to life on social media, where people share their beautiful colored-in books as a form of art therapy.
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This is nothing new because adult coloring books have been around for decades. Yet, recently a publisher ordered an adult coloring book for Johanna Basford’s Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt & Coloring Book, and people love it because since then they have sold over 2 million copies and it continues to be on the best-sellers list. Bookstores cannot keep them on the shelves due to their increased popularity.
What is Art Therapy?
Art therapy is a form of expressive therapy that uses the creative process of using color to improve a person’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being. For many people that deal with different behaviors, feelings, have a lot of stresses or just need to improve their self-esteem, art therapy can help with all of that.
Many people are using adult coloring books as a way to relieve stress from work. There are so many people that suffer from anxiety and stress in the workplace and coloring activates the logic part of the brain and it generates a creative mindset. The amygdala, which is the part of the brain that is involved with fear response gets a rest when you begin to color.
Many therapists recommend art therapy to their patients and even use it during their counseling sessions. They use it as a way to provide that person with a deeper understanding of what they are going through. Many art therapists feel cheated because they feel that people need to seek professional help and that coloring books will never replace the work of a professional art therapist.
With a professional art therapist you are guided and you are able to create original art that comes with your emotions, as opposed to simply coloring someone else’s images. The fact is that art therapy does help, but if you suffer serious conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety or any other mental/emotional problems it would be best to seek professional help.
NEXT: Pains of Stress