Get out your fanciest colored pencils and put on your favorite Spotify playlist, because adult coloring books are now a thing.
You don’t have to suffer from arrested development to enjoy this new crop of Crayola-ready art, from artists Daria Song and Cher Kaufmann (The Time Garden and The Artful Mandala, respectively), comedian Abbi Jacobson (Color This Book), writer Kim Kovel (Hello My Name Is Cancer), and many more.
In fact, many wellness experts are recommending coloring as a meditative practice, including yoga and meditation instructor Ally Bogard.
“Adult coloring books can induce very similar states as meditation as both practices begin to quiet the parts of the brain that are responsible for reasoning, planning, and self-conscious awareness,” Bogard says. “By balancing the right-creative brain with the left-logical brain, one is able to come into deeper states of awareness, focus, and attention.”
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Bogard believes that when you focus on a single task (like chopping vegetables, for instance), the part of the brain that processes information about the outer world goes offline, and the creative part of the brain that makes inward observations is activated.
“Both coloring books and meditation allow the brain a chance to ‘reboot’ from constantly processing information and can help increase cognitive abilities and even memory,” she adds.
Other than the reputed meditative benefits, adult coloring books are just plain pretty as well. (Translation: You won’t find any Dora The Explorer or Blue’s Clues characters here.)
Song’s The Time Garden features intricate cities and sprawling landscapes, while Kovel’s Hello My Name Is Cancer includes cancer treatment-themed games to make patients laugh and get their minds off chemotherapy.
So would you throw it all the way back to the first grade and sit down with a coloring book? Tell us in the comments section below. —Jamie McKillop
For more information on Ally Bogard, visit allybogard.com
(Photos: Instagram.com/kami_kadze, The Time Garden)