A Colorful Adult Alternative to Meditation? Coloring Me Crazy.

Adults Are Coloring Me Crazy

When I first heard of adults coloring, I knew there was something to it.  I will admit though, I laughed out loud.  I think I might have even spit out my drink, maybe even through my nose.

crazy adult coloring trend
Alternative to Meditation?

I had a visual of a Saturday Night Live skit with a mixture of personalities in a quiet room trying to color for stress relief, only to clash and get annoyed with each other, then get into a competition….  I let my mind run with that cause it was funny.  (If any of the writers are reading this, that would rock!)

Can Adult Coloring be An Alternative to Meditation?

Still though, some psychologists are calling this a viable alternative to meditation.

Ben Michaelis, a psychologist, says, “There is a long history of people coloring for mental health reasons. Carl Jung [founder of psychology] 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 allow the subconscious to let go. Now we know it has a lot of other stress-busting qualities as well.”

Ben has a point there.  In fact, monks have been mindfully creating sand art and mandalas for centuries as serious mindful activities.  There was even an episode of House of Cards where monks were in the White House for a couple of weeks working on one single piece of intricate sand art.  In the end, it was amazingly beautiful!  In a second, they blew it away.

Similar to this:


It’s not about the destination, but about the journey.

Art, music, or many things creative have a way of hyper focusing your mind.  I can say with absolute certainty that when I write songs or create artwork, I feel as if the pieces are coming through me from somewhere else.  Maybe straight from my sub-conscious, without any interruptions from my loud and crazy mind…  Maybe straight from the universe.

All I know is that when I’m in the “zone”, things just flow.  It’s the same when I meditate or practice mindfulness for any length of time.  Things flow.  I feel “flow”.

Coloring for Adults

I’ll say that as both an artist, musician, and meditation junkie, coloring can definitely get you in a similar zone as meditation and mindfulness.  There are plenty of coloring books here if you want to see some adult coloring books examples.  (The art nouveau one looks really cool).

Now, do I say that coloring can replace meditation or mindfulness, maybe, but if you color mindfully, that will be even more powerful than just using it to relax.

Coloring MindfullyWhen you color, pay attention to things like:


  • How does the crayon or pencil feel in your hand?
  • Are You Focused on staying in the lines?
  • Are you daydreaming or focused on what you are coloring?
  • How much pressure are you putting on the pencil or crayon? Feel it.
  • How tight is your grip? Feel it.
  • Are you tense when you color?
  • After a little while, do you FEEL more relaxed, or more tense?
  • How do you FEEL when you look at the colors?
  • Are there specific colors that FEEL different than the others? How?

I’m all for trying things out.  If you have trouble with meditating, try coloring.  It’s readily accessible to most of us.  If you have kids, swipe one of their books.  If not, there are good books on Amazon, or your local book stores, if you have any left.

Either way, give it a try.  Stay present while coloring.  Save and share the infographic above if you want.  It might help you, or at least give you a few pointers.


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