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Adult Coloring – an increasingly used and purchasable medium of expression
Although there is a relationship between enjoying coloring as a child and choosing to color as an adult,  there seems to be different reasons for adults needing to color.  
Clinical Psychologist, S.M.Bea
Clinical Psychologist, N. Martinez
Interior Design, Jacob Olesen
CNN, Daily Burn, Kelly Fitzpatrick


Circular forms in art are often referred to as mandalas, the Sanskrit word for "sacred circle."

Mandala used for:

spiritual practices; visual meditation; illustrates the entire structure of the universe; historic monuments; evoked circle in rituals for transcendence, mindfulness, wellness; Carl Jung, psychiatrist, believed it represented the total personality (Self); Joan Kellogg, intuitive counselor, conveys current physical, emotional, spiritual condition at the moment. 

Cathy Malchiodi,  Expressive Arts Therapist, Art Therapist, Research Psychologist, Writer, Activist and Speaker 


-          Can be progress; fate or destiny; power, identity, representation of the imaginary; self-     satisfaction, frivolous

-          Is a necessity rather than an optional extra.

-          Utilized to boost productivity and innovation in workplace.

-          Deep play subverts authority and often is for power (games of chance/risk).

-          Creates a separate and personal space – a third area where one can truly be oneself.

-          May lie in the experience of the player or within the characteristics of the play itself.

-          Not done as a means to an end but for inherent pleasure; and is imaginative, intrinsically.

-          Is motivated, non-serious, freely chosen, actively engaging, spontaneous, joyful.

Play linked with Wellness   

            Wellness is connectedness, being active, learning, giving to others, and taking notice.

Lifespan Considerations

 -           Play as a unifying medium for the development of growth and change that empowers the player as an agent of that change, regardless of intent.

 -           It is the playful quality of the concept that takes play from childhood into the adult world.

 -            It can be seen as a movement away from order, stability and predictability.

 -            It is the process of being a child, becoming different and open to what it not yet is.


 -           Heals our senses and keeps them healthy

 -           Coloring is a crossover with mindfulness and mantras – activities in which the brain is engaged. Coloring is just enough to stop the mind whirring, but not so much that the concentration is draining.  

 -           Coloring a mandala reduces anxiety to a greater extent than simply coloring a plaid design or coloring on blank paper, with the implication that structured coloring of geometric pattern may induce a meditative state that benefits individuals suffering from anxiety. 

 -          The discipline of creating artwork generates a sense of calm, reduces tension and contributes to a raised self-esteem and brighter outlook on life.

 -          There are positive effects on mental wellbeing, anxiety and depression.

 -          As a result, one eats less because not as bored and feeling better about self.

 -          It feels like therapy.

From: PLAY IN HEALTHCARE FOR ADULTS Using play to promote health and wellbeing across the adult lifespan. Edited by Alison Tonkin and Julia Whitaker, 2016. London: Routledge