The New (and Unexpected) Tool All College Students Need Right Now

Finals have finished up (hopefully) for students across the nation, and during the beginning of this New Year adult coloring books have become a hot new present to get for young adults. They’ve quickly rose up the ranks of what to give a stressed out adult, or better, to just get one for yourself. Coloring books are bringing back a childhood favorite to adults looking for a better way to relieve stress and anxiety that comes with being a grown-up. As a trend that started in France and found a wide range of success in the United States, these coloring books are often filled with pages of intricate patterns designed to destress the mind and bring about the concept of mindfulness while also playing into a simple, youthful activity.

Here are five compelling reasons to give a loved one – or even yourself – a coloring book.

The Rhythmic and Repetitive Patterns Help Relieve Stress and Anxiety

How often do you see a stressed out seven-year-old? Not too often, I’m sure. And how often do you see a seven-year-old happily coloring in his or her coloring book? Quite often. Bringing this coloring craze to adults was not originally intended to act as a study on the correlation between coloring and stress, yet its trendiness has proven that there is some connection to the rhythmic motion of coloring that helps you shut your brain off to focus on nothing more than deciding what color to use next. Its repetitive patterns, especially the mandala-filled books, give your hands something to do when being mindless, such as watching TV.

They’re a Form of Art Therapy

In 2010, the American Journal of Public Health came out with a review that supported the connection between the impact of art on healing and health, with over one hundred studies to back it. Creative therapies – such as performance, writing, and yes, coloring – have been proven to reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and negative emotions, along with improving mental flow, expression, spontaneity, and positive emotions. These coloring books are the perfect way for people who do not find themselves to be quite artsy, but need or enjoy a creative outlet.

They’re a Creative Outlet for Non-artists

Somewhere along the line people might lose their creativity from their childhood. These coloring books give adults a path back to that creativity in a non-threatening manner. It could be just what someone is looking for in terms of creatively choosing whether to color a flower red or green, or it could be a step into a more creative path and creating their own art entirely. For whatever type of person out there, coloring books give adults a good excuse to be creative in their own way.

They Bring us Back to Our Childhood

Nostalgia is a strong tool, and coloring is a perfect example of that. A trend as of late, especially amongst Millennials, is to revert back to their childhood experiences, such as adult summer camps and now coloring books. The adult aspect of it – not coloring in your favorite cartoon characters but rather intricate design – gives adults that guilt-free excuse to go back to an old and partially forgotten hobby. It’s also a low commitment – there is no need for batteries, you can stop at any time, and you don’t need to take classes to learn this skill. Its simplicity speaks for itself.

They’re a Unique Way to be Social

Gather around your closest friends, a couple packets of colored pencils, and color together! With each new trend, there’s bound to be a way to make it a social event – and maybe that’s not a bad thing. Since it’s not a very active activity, coloring can be done while chatting and relaxing with a group of friends.

College students are known for be constantly stressed during the semester, but oftentimes cannot find the best outlet to relax, zone out, destress, etc. These coloring books are becoming more readily available, both in bookstores and online. So if you are stressed out or know someone that is, here’s a great way to mellow out for a short while and zone out – in the most adult fashion, of course.

Image: Flickr