Coloring books are where most kids start to develop their artistic dexterity. They are available relatively cheap, they are often related to cartoon characters or objects familiar to very young children. They provide guidelines for children who are learning to control their hand movements by "coloring inside the lines".
Coloring books for adults is an offspring of art therapy which is a mental health profession that is the process of making and creating artwork which intends to "explore feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety and increase self-esteem" (according to the American Art Therapy Association). So basically, it's similar to good old therapy. Also, art therapy is not only about mental health and improving yourself - it's a form of personal expression, as well.
Neuropsychologist Dr. Stan Rodski and brain scientist Dr. Joel Pearson both agree. In an interview, Dr. Rodski shares his belief that coloring for adults can encourage a relaxed state as the coloring individual focuses their attention on the detail and intricacies of a particular image. Similarly, Dr. Pearson explains that the therapeutic effect can be further understood by considering that the image you are coloring replaces any negative ones you may be harboring.
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