Saturday, February 6, 2016

What's the Thing with Coloring Books?

My daughter and I went over to the fabric and craft shop the other day. While she shops, I look at the how-to books. To my surprise, most of the how-to selections had been supplanted by coloring books for adults. I knew that these were "a thing," but I hadn't realized how much so.

Later, I found an article in The Atlantic, about the current craze, "The Zen of Adult Coloring Books" by Julie Beck (found here). Read her whole article, but she writes, for instance, "Several trend pieces about adult coloring books lump them in with other “childish” activities that grown-ups are apparently engaging in to regress back to their simpler youth, like adult preschool and adult summer camp. But I think they fit better into the trend of meditation and mindfulness that’s been going for some time now, one response among many to the high levels of stress many adults are living with....

"There are plenty of studies on the effectiveness of art therapy in reducing stress, and coloring seems to offer some similar benefits... Coloring offers that relief and mindfulness without the paralysis that a blank page can cause.'

My problem is, I'm one of those people who loves the work I do, and to do my work at home (writing, class preps) is satisfying. Why don't I let down a little bit and color?---especially since part of my work is facing that blank page. Perhaps I should!  

I've a lighthearted, mostly-kidding thought: give adults coloring books for church, similar to the way children get to color simple biblical scenes as they sit in the pews. Since doodling has been demonstrated to help a person focus, maybe we need something similar to do while the preacher is giving the message. We might remember and apply more of the sermon later!

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