Meditation? It works for some. For others, the idea of sitting quietly with your own thoughts is more stressful than the thoughts themselves. The truth is, meditative practices can take many forms, and it’s important to find what works for you. One of the best meditative practices that has become popular in recent years is adult coloring books.
Adult coloring books can be used for stress relief anywhere, anytime and for an affordable price. All you need is a great set of images, a solid set of colored pencils or markers and some quiet time. Note: We did not say any artistic skill is required — because it’s not!
Benefits of Adult Coloring Books
As we leave school and reach the independent stage of our lives, it’s easy to feel like our learning days are over and that our brains are packed with all the knowledge we need to succeed. However, that’s sometimes the problem. Our brains are too packed with what we already know and not open enough to what we don’t.
Many benefits of coloring for adults help battle this conundrum. Here are a few of them:
Reduced Stress and Anxiety – One of the main reasons that coloring is so closely linked with meditation is that both activities can have a relaxing effect on your amygdala, which is where memories are stored, both good and bad. By reducing the pressure on our mind with coloring, we can improve the levels of mindfulness and calm we feel.
Improved Skills – Coloring is not just about staying in the lines. It’s also about selecting the best color, where to color first and what to do with the artwork once it’s complete. These aspects of coloring require multiple parts of the brain to work in unison for the best results.
Better Sleep – Avoid blue light before you sleep by spending time coloring rather than scrolling. Whereas electronic screens can have a negative effect on your melatonin levels, coloring books do not.
Increased Focus – There’s a healthy balance of focus required for coloring. It’s not a case of closing your eyes and hoping for the best. It does take concentration and precision but not to the extent you’ll find it stressful. If anything, you’ll find the activity reduces your anxiety levels.
Adult coloring books have been trending for a few years and for a good reason. They engage your mind and creativity while also providing a soothing, relaxing, hands-on activity. Take one on a long flight to pass the time or share it with friends for a soothing group activity.
What to Consider Before Buying an Adult Coloring Book
Because you’ll likely be using an adult coloring book as a stress relief tool, you need to ensure you’ll actually want to pick up the coloring book when you’re stressed. Here are a few questions to ask yourself when shopping for the best adult coloring books for you:
1. What theme do you like most? It’s best to pick a themed book around a topic you’re interested in. Like dogs? There are books for that! Prefer channeling your inner Roy Kent? There are books for that, too.
2. What coloring tools will you use? Some coloring books are double-sided and can only be used with crayons or colored pencils. Others are single-sided, which allows for the use of markers or even paint.
3. How difficult do you want the illustrations to be? Most adult coloring books feature fairly difficult illustrations, but some books have images that are far less complicated. So, ask yourself how long, on average, you would like to spend coloring on a single page.
4. How many illustrations do you want to have in the book? Many adult coloring books have 30 or fewer pages. If that’s not enough for you, pick one with upwards of 50 pictures to color.
5. What do you want to do with your images once they’ve been colored in? Feeling your inner Picasso? Want to display your work? Choose a coloring book with perforated pages that can easily be removed from the binding.
How We Chose the Best Adult Coloring Books
We have found in testing various adult coloring books that much of the pleasure derived from this activity comes from both the illustration on the page and the match of any given person’s abilities with how complicated the illustration is. Therefore, we wanted to choose a wide variety of themed books as well as coloring books with both complicated and easy illustrations. We’ve strived to select the best book in each category.
If you think coloring books are just for kids, it’s time to experience the new world of adult coloring books. Beautiful, intricate and fun, adult coloring books are about to become your new favorite way to spend an afternoon. Below are the best adult coloring books you can buy, including a wide variety of inspirations and difficulties. There’s a coloring book to suit everyone, so pick yours and enjoy.