We’ve seen an overwhelming number of new products in the past recent years, but sure enough, adult coloring books are one that gained so much traction in the market. From retail giants like Amazon to local bookstores, adult coloring books have fast becoming a staple in every bookshelf today. In U.S alone, a whopping 12 million coloring books were sold in 2015, cementing its position as one of the most popular physical books available today.

Given its popularity, it is quite interesting how such book differs from the ones we had in our childhood. Aside from bringing back the memories we had back in the days of our innocence, there can be no doubt that coloring these books provides a whole lot of fun and relaxation as well. It exposes the inner child in us and makes us forget about our personal problems even just for a while.

Whether you are just starting out or you have been producing art masterpieces on these books for years, here are seven exciting reasons why adult coloring books can be very beneficial to your overall well-being today.

Be sure to check out the full infographic below to see how beneficial coloring can actually be for your health, mind and relieving stress.

  • Carl Jung Was the First to Prescribed Adult Coloring to His Psychiatry Patients

Many people have thought that adult coloring books is just a recent trend, when in fact, it’s not. Its concept can be traced back in the early 1900’s when famed psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung started to prescribed adult coloring to his patients. Prior to that, Jung has always been fascinated with mandalas- a Sanskrit word for “sacred circle” in which most of the adult coloring books are based nowadays.

He believed that coloring mandala images can help his patients to access their subconscious and new self-knowledge. According to him, mandalas symbolize “a safe refuge of inner reconciliation and wholeness”- helping us to experience wholeness amidst the chaos of everyday life. Thereon, many psychologists and therapists are now prescribing adult coloring books to help their patients relax and get rid of troubling thoughts.

  • Adult Coloring Can Help Alleviate Several Emotional and Mental Health Issues

The daily hustle and bustle can make our life dull, boring and stressful. In U.S, statistics says that 1 in 5 adults have a mental health issue, which roughly translates to over 40 million Americans. This includes individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, eating and binge eating disorders, anger management issues, and substance abuse issues. Lack of access to mental care also makes it worse, with 56% of American adults did not receive any treatment at all.

Adult coloring books address this concern by providing a way for these people to spend their time and focus on a more creative and productive way, steering them away from thinking negative thoughts and doing bad habits.

  • It Has Enormous Benefits to People with PTSD, Anxiety, and Stress Issues

People with PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder), anxiety and panic disorders, and depression are more likely to benefit from adult coloring books. Clinical studies show that people with the said health issues have “a less gray matter volume on in the hippocampus” in addition to a decrease in volume covariance between hippocampus and amygdala- both of which are critical for emotional processing and fight or flight response.

This decrease in volume then results to symptoms like heightened state of panic, worry, and hyper-arousal. The relaxing and calming activity of adult coloring gives these parts of the brain the time to rest, thus lessening the chance for the symptoms to be triggered.

  • It Gives Us a Healthy Dose of “Nostalgia Trip”

Have you ever wished to yourself “If I can only turn back the time and be a kid again, I wouldn’t have to worry about how stressful my life can be”? If yes, then adult coloring books can make that happen. Many of us have our own fair share of funny memories about squiggling crayons on all our books- whether it’s a coloring book or not- during our childhood.

This were also the times when the only things we worry about are getting new toys and watching our favorite cartoons on TV- a time of pure innocence and enjoyment. Adult coloring lets “travel” back in time by reminding us of these memories of our childhood. Even for just a little while, we forget about our present stresses and worries in life, which can make our life more joyful to live with.

  • It Makes Us Smarter, Too!

Interestingly, adult coloring not only gives us fun, it makes us smarter too! Adult coloring, like any art-related activity, exercises the front lobe of our brain which is responsible for maintaining focus and concentration. Those intricate mandalas prompt us to identify which set of color and stroke to use, as well as which part of the mandala to color first, thus improving our problem-solving and organizational skills.

  •  It Utilizes All Areas of Our Brain

Adult coloring might seem like a minor task for our us to process, but in fact, it utilizes both the left and right hemisphere of the brain. Aside from choosing the proper color scheme and achieving balance in aesthetics, the application of colored pencil to paper improves our fine motor skills as well. With creativity and motor skills being trained up, adult coloring is one of the most productive past time that one can engage in today.

  • Adult Coloring Books Enhances Our Mindfulness

Finally, adult coloring perfectly fits for people who want to train their mindfulness, which has therapeutic and health benefits. It replaces negative thoughts and the feeling of anxiety with positive and pleasant ones. It offers relief and mindfulness compared to just doing nothing. And nothing is more satisfying than seeing your thought and effort transform into something that is tangible, aesthetically pleasing piece of art – making us more aware of our inner strength along the process.

Adult coloring books are more than just being a collection of complex patterns. It is one of the most effective ways to channel our emotions, improving our state of mind in the process. More than being a fad, its benefits have already been proven and have stood the test of time, so it is very certain that adult coloring books are one of the best hobbies that you can indulge yourself with today.