Creative afternoon. How do anti-stress coloring books help?

Creative afternoon. How do anti-stress coloring books help?
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The popularity of anti-stress coloring books is linked to the belief in their calming effect. But do they really help to calm down particularly strong emotions?

What are anti-stress coloring books?

Definitely not the same as coloring books for children, which are supposed to support their artistic development and occupy their time in a creative way. Coloring books for adults have primarily a therapeutic aspect.

One of the techniques of art therapy

They are one of the techniques of art therapy, that is treatment through art. The idea is to work through difficult emotions through creative activity. In this case it happens through a simple activity, which is coloring selected pictures

Kolorowa mozaika

It’s worth noting that some people – in order to relieve difficult emotions – take to drawing on the margins of newspapers or notebooks. It is a similar mechanism as in case of anti-stress coloring books.

Popularity of coloring books for adults

Despite the fact that such a technique has been known in the world for several decades, it gained real fame only thanks to “The Secret Garden” by Johanna Basford, published in Poland five years ago. Since then the availability and choice of this kind of products in our country has been constantly growing. Mandalas, arabesques, animals and scenes from fairy tales – everyone is sure to find something for themselves

What is coloring for adults?

A coloring book for stress relief

Relaks na trawie
(Photo by Aki Tolentino, source:

Stress at work or a difficult life problem can be a good time to get anti-stress coloring books. Of course, they will not replace a visit to a psychologist in more difficult states, but their immediate effect is positive. It turns out that such coloring already after several minutes allows us to feel relief, reduces tension and gives a sense of calming the mind

Psychologists’ opinions

It turns out that coloring books were also used as a home anti-stress therapy during professional therapy sessions with patients. This activity helps to calm down and gives positive effects. An additional benefit of coloring is the beautiful effect that makes us optimistic and stimulates our creativity.

Coloring motifs for adults

What motifs are most often used in coloring books designed for adults? Although there are no fairy tale scenes here, there are sometimes exceptions such as the popular coloring pages for adults with Harry Potter

“The Secret Garden”

(Photo by Ignacio Correia, source:

The real popularity of anti-stress coloring books for adults began with the booklet written by Johanna Basford. The fun of it consisted in coloring individual boxes, but also in adding small details. The garden convention turned out to be a great idea – could there be anything more calming than flowers and animals?


Popular motifs designed for coloring for adults, which were taken from Buddhism. It plays an important role in some types of meditation. In Asian art they are often considered a very impressive decorative element. Geometric shapes with a great deal of detail refer to a sense of harmony and symmetry. An additional reward is the magnificent effect, shimmering with different colors

Zentangles and arabesques

Motywy orientalne
(Photo by Dimitry B, source:

This type of coloring books for adults are shapes of various objects that are filled with geometric patterns. Very often these are motifs of plants or animals. Fans of oriental cultures can bet on coloring books referring to arabesques

Pop culture motifs

The growing market of anti-stress coloring books makes authors more and more willing to use themes from pop culture, especially from movies. The already mentioned Harry Potter books are not the only ones. There are also stress-busting coloring books from “The Lord of the Rings” or containing motifs from “Star Wars”. You can be sure, however, that in the following years the availability of new designs will be even greater

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