Color your way to tranquility


Sophie Siv

A young adult coloring in a coloring book. Weird to imagine isn’t it? The idea may seem strange because we are so used to seeing children color for fun. Coloring is an activity that all ages can participate in, and it has become a huge trend. It exercises the creative part of the brain and is therapeutic.

  There is a new phenomenon taking over the free time of adults and students at WOHS. That phenomenon is adult coloring books. These books are filled with pages of assorted designs perfect for coloring. Coloring for adults has been around for a while, but it is just now becoming all the rage. Nowadays, it is rare to walk into a bookstore without seeing a table dedicated solely to these popular books. This up and coming artform is a peaceful way to unwind and relax.

  The reason for this trend is due to the popular hipster bohemian style. Since this lifestyle or aesthetic choice is so popular, it makes these peaceful coloring books the craze that it is. Someone that is categorized as Bohemian enjoys artistic and mellow things. The people that categorize themselves as hipster or bohemian are usually carefree. With the adult coloring books these people are able to express themselves and be carefree.

    From mandala designs to garden designs, there are many options to choose from. Many of the designs in the coloring books are influenced by Asian cultures, especially the Indian culture. A trend that falls into this category are henna tattoos. Henna tattoos originated from India and are temporary organic tattoos. Tapestries with mandala designs on them are a big decoration trend for teenagers now. The mandala is a circle symbol that is from Buddhism. Buddhism is all about meditation and finding Zen. It is easy to see the correlation to the mandala designs in the adult coloring books because both are known to be able to relieve stress.

  Coloring is proven to clinically help relieve stress. It is used in doctor’s offices. Who knew that there would be such a thing as a prescription for coloring? Anxious and busy people use this method to relax. It is said to exercise the fine motor skills in the brain and train it to focus. Not only is coloring relaxing, but psychologists believe that it is good for the brain. Many suggest this method to calm and center their minds. The amygdala is the part of the brain that controls fear and stress. While the brain is working on the coloring pages, the amygdala gets rest which puts stress on pause. Doing adult coloring books is a healthy way to relieve stress and reach tranquility.

 This adult coloring book craze has creeped its way into the lives of students at WO. Sr. Emily Wallace is a big supporter of using coloring as a way to relieve stress. “It feels like a meditative process, and I like that there is a tangible product of the time I’ve spent relaxing. For those who are stressed, I’d advise coloring every once in awhile. It’s a great mental escape or vacation that can rejuvenate you, but if you do it too often it can get boring.” Jr. Kate Symoungkhoune had a one time experience with a coloring page. “It made me feel relaxed and focused and kind of made me forget about my day. That day was a bad day to be honest,” Symoungkhoune said. By coloring she was able to forget about her bad day. She believes that coloring is therapeutic and she would recommend this technique to people that are stressed.

  Now, not only children enjoy coloring but so can adults. When kids color, it helps develop their cognitive abilities, but when adults color, it helps ease their minds. Usually trends are useless and fade away, but this craze should stay around for a long time because of its benefits. This technique is especially useful to young adults like the students at WO as they undergo stress from school and growing up. As high schoolers, we have a lot going on in our lives. A lot of changes are happening. It can all be very overwhelming. So next time things start to weigh down on you, grab an adult coloring book and relieve the stress artistically.