Coloring books can help take adults away from daily stress

by KACI LIVINGSTON//Staff Writer

After a long stressful day, you thoroughly enjoy being able to sit back, relax, and unwind.

Sometimes the world can be a hectic and cruel place.  A growing trend to de-stress is to revert back to childhood and get out a coloring book.  But the coloring books are not just for children anymore.

From the original publishers of “Chicken Soup for the Soul” comes a new adult coloring book called “Inkspirations,” focused on, “sophisticated, original artwork, life-affirming quotes and inspiring messages that help you make your mark on the world (literally!).”

According to Kim Weiss, director of communications for HCI Books, all editions serve a purpose. However, she is partial to “Inkspirations: Animal Kingdom,” as well as “Inkspirations: for a Happy Heart.”

These editions are filled with illustrations of pattern-filled animals, as well as motivating sayings to give you the extra kick of creativity for the day.

inkspirations-create-while-you-wait

Each edition is filled with unique artwork drawn by the individual illustrator. The philosophical quotes are pulled from a public domain and matched to the illustration, enhancing the positivity of each page.  The company seems to constantly launch new editions such as “Inkspirations: Color Me Postcards,” and “Inkspirations: for Christmas Joy,” with six other books coming soon.  “Inkspirations” can be found at almost all bookstores, such as Barnes and Nobles, Wal-Mart, Amazon and Booksamillion.com.

Surprisingly enough, there are quite a few benefits of coloring.  For example, psychologists have even given the task of coloring to their clients.  Creating your own artwork has shown to reduce stress.  Like meditation it can help shut out other thoughts in your mind by focusing on the moment.

Social interaction has been increased by simply hosting coloring nights.  Since it does not require much concentration, it is easy to talk while relaxing with others around.  By staying inside the lines, you are training your brain to focus without causing stress, as well as having the advantage to express yourself.

According to Daniel Monti of Thomas Jefferson University, a study was conducted in 2006 on “a newly developed psychosocial group intervention for cancer patients called MBAT (mindfulness-based art therapy). “  One hundred and eleven women participated in the study, which went on to show that “the MBAT group demonstrated a significant decrease in symptoms of distress… and significant improvements in key aspects of health-related quality of life.”

There are many other adult coloring books.  As many as 2,084 can be found or ordered through Barnes and Nobles alone.  As many coloring books as there are, the variety does not seem to fall short.  Tarot cards, steampunk, ornate eggs and Russian dolls even have their own coloring books.

No matter what you fancy, chances are there is a coloring book out there for you.  So give it a chance, join the craze and pick up your own personalized stress-relieving coloring book.

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