A Fun and Effective Way to Reduce Stress: Art Therapy Coloring Books

Modern life is full of stressors so it makes sense we need new tools to cope with these new challenges. Adult coloring books have risen in popularity in recent years because they’re an effective way to de-stress, and a lot of fun too! Coloring detailed patterns concentrates our minds and when we concentrate we can’t be worrying at the same time.

Psychologist Gloria Martínez Ayala states that the act of coloring activates our brain in such a way that it stimulates our logic, through coloring forms, and creativity, through the matching and mixing of colors, resulting in lowered activity in our amygdala—that part of our brain that processes emotion and affects how we react to stress. And as we rest our amygdala we end up feeling relaxed.

Coloring also stimulates our imagination and brings us back to our childhood, a time when we had a lot less stress. That creativity gets further stimulated when we color “outside the lines” by drawing our own art aside from the printed designs on the page. However, the more we create our own art rather than just coloring, the more we use our minds, which reduces the stress reduction benefit.

Coloring has a long history of therapeutic use. Since the early 1900s, Carl Jung prescribed coloring to his patients as a way to centre themselves and calm themselves down. Jung was also a proponent of mandalas, sacred circular designs that originated in India. Mandalas are a common theme among adult coloring books because they provide the additional bonus of being an object of meditation and contemplation in addition to the benefits of coloring itself. (Read this Intro to Mandalas for more about mandalas).

Art Therapy Coloring Book Series

Listed below is our complete collection of coloring books. Want to read some excerpts before you buy? Check out this Intro to Art Therapy and this Intro to Mandalas. The books are sold on Amazon, which offers the Look Inside feature so you can get an idea of what the pictures look like. When you’re done coloring, scan and send your colored-in pages along with your name to contact@themindfulword.org and we’ll add them to a collection we’re putting together for the site!

Sacred Circles Mandala Coloring Book [Volume One]

» 108 mandalas (30 full-size mandalas, 78 smaller)
» 154 pages
» 8.5 x 8.5″

Divine Flowers Mandala Coloring Book [Volume Two]

» 108 flower mandalas (30 full-size mandalas, 78 smaller)
» 108 pages
» 8.5 x 8.5″

$6.95

Celtic Designs [Volume Three]

» 200 Celtic knots, crosses, symbols and patterns
» 154 pages
» 8.5 x 8.5″

$8.95

Abstract Symmetry [Volume Four]

» 175 geometric designs to color
» 120 pages
» 8.5 x 8.5″

$8.95

Complete Concentration [Volume Five] 

» 250 designs (30 full-page designs and 40 pages with multiple designs)
» 150 pages
» 8.5 x 8.5″

$8.95

 De-Stress Yourself [Volume Six]

» 250 designs (40 full-page designs and 30 pages with multiple designs)
» 170 pages
» 8.5 x 8.5″

$8.95