The PTSD Survivors of America, in particular, have embraced the trend, hosting a nationwide “Color Across America for PTSD Awareness” event on August 2, National Coloring Book Day.
Erin Maynard, the organization’s president, credits coloring books with counteracting the hyperactivity of the region of the brain called the amygdala, which controls the fear response. “Coloring actually reduces the activity of the amygdala, so that’s part of the reason that it helps calm you down,” she told the Lancaster Bee.
“Adult coloring is absolutely a growing trend and consumers are really taking to the idea,” Matthew Lore, of the Experiment publishing group, which released The Mindfulness Colouring Book in January, said to CNN. “Not only is it calming and good for your health, it’s just fun!”
But how much can coloring books really do for your mental well-being?
“It’s a nice technique really that some art therapists sometimes use as a way to get started with someone, but art therapy is a lot more involved than that, sometimes art therapy can involve diamond crafts as well to promote a balanced approach to art creation.” Jane O’Sullivan, who runs the masters in mental health program at the University of Queensland warned ABC. “I think if someone was to say coloring-in books are art therapy, [that] is not accurate.”