Why Coloring Could Be The New Alternative To Meditation

Rediscover your inner kindergartener.

07/28/2015 03:40 pm ET | Updated Jul 30, 2015

Currently, six of the top 20 selling books on Amazon are adult coloring books. The unlikely pastime for those of us who have successfully graduated from kindergarten has been gaining popularity of late, as an easy means to express oneself and de-stress along the way. 

The activity not only provides a low-stress, low-stakes way to unlock your creative potential, it also unlocks memories of simpler, childhood times, when the biggest cause of anxiety was how to avoid your next nap. "I recommend it as a relaxation technique," psychologist Antoni Martínez explained to the Huffington Post. "We can use it to enter into a more creative, freer state. I recommend it in a quiet environment, even with chill music. Let the color and the lines flow."

Coloring Flower Mandalas

Clinical psychologist Ben Michaelis and Souris Hong, author of bestselling adult coloring book Outside the Lines, stopped by HuffPost Live to discuss some of the meditative benefits of coloring for the adult set. 

"There is a long history of people coloring for mental health reasons," Michaelis says. "Carl Jung used to try to get his patients to color in mandalas at the turn of the last century, as a way of getting people to focus and to allow the subconscious to let go. Now we know it has a lot of other stress-busting qualities as well." 

Today the variety of adult coloring books is expansive, ranging from meditative outlets like Coloring Flower Mandalas to art-savvy options like Outside the Lines, there are funny ones,  feminist ones and even a coloring book for stoners 

Basically, if you are looking for a way to find your inner zen while also exploring your artistic side, look no further. Coloring books are here to help. Your 5-year-old self would be so proud.

Also on HuffPost:

Outside The Lines, A Coloring Book

CONVERSATIONS