Ugly art is used to relieve stress

Painting for adults: relaxation, stress relief, meditation

Paint and relax

We live in a digitized society in which, from almost anywhere in the world, it is possible to continuously access information and exchange information via social media. For some time, however, it has been noticed that a countermovement to permanent availability has developed.

This movement is characterized by a search for inner calm and balance. People's striving to escape from stressful everyday life is becoming more and more important and demands solutions. What initially only happened in a small scene has now become accessible to a broad mass of society - painting for adults.

Later, pick up a colored pencil yourself and start coloring something. You will notice how you can bring your mind and body into a completely different state. This can put you in a relaxed mode, which helps you to reduce stress and to be completely with yourself and your thoughts for a certain time.

Painting for adults - a new trend is taking hold

Similar to a yoga or meditation exercise, you find yourself in an inner state of rest while painting - provided, of course, that you are not impaired in your relaxation by external noises, such as construction noise or the ringing of the telephone.

The trend of painting for adults began a few years ago in the USA and triggered a wave of enthusiasm in Germany at the beginning of this year.

But how did this trend of coloring, which until now primarily small children have liked, came about? Coloring was already practiced by smaller groups, especially for adults, before the big breakthrough in coloring books. However, this was little known, especially in Germany.

In the meantime, coloring books for adults have become so popular that new books with a wide variety of motifs are being produced over and over again. There are already books on the market in which famous Hollywood stars or world-famous landmarks can be colored in.

The adult painting trend in the media

The media response to the coloring trend for adults was enormous, especially after the publication of the Scottish Johanna Bramford's books, and continues to do so. Last but not least, the pronounced media coverage is responsible for the fact that many adults now uninhibitedly devote themselves to a coloring book in public.

Restraint is no longer necessary, because painting is no longer strange even with adults. Before adult coloring, as adult coloring is also known, and the intensive reporting in a wide variety of media, most people tended to associate coloring books with young children. Now people also buy coloring books for their own use to reduce stress.

The coloring books are now available in stationary retail and online shops. For many, coloring has become a hobby. The inhibition that you have to be creative to color or at least claim to be able to draw or paint is slowly disappearing from people's minds.

The coloring books allow you to work creatively without pressure and without any prior knowledge. The prejudices that only talented people can use the coloring books are and have been dispelled by the media.

The origin of painting for adults

In particular, the coloring book “My Enchanted Garden” and the follow-up book “The Magic Forest” by the Scottish illustrator Johanna Bramford were at the top of the bestseller lists for weeks.

Through these publications, the trend became widely known. The fact that the coloring books met with such great interest is not only due to a good marketing concept, but also to the strong interest of people who long for a balance to life in a stressful, competitive society. There is a great desire to balance the daily stress in professional and private life.

The adult coloring books are filled with white sheets of paper with black lines running through them. Abstract, floral, in the form of an animal or in zigzag waves: there are now a large number of books and postcards for adults to color on the market.

Especially mandalas are very popular to let your creativity run free. The lines and shapes are given in the books, but the choice of colors is based on your own personal ideas. That is why every colored book or template is unique.

Painting for adults - what effect does painting have on us?

Coloring has a lot of potential to establish itself in society beyond a short-term trend. Because painting has a therapeutic effect. In occupational therapy, for example, it is common to express your feelings and thoughts in the form of pictures and your own choice of colors.

Your own creation, your own production of a unique item also promotes self-confidence. Because the pictures that arise are something that you created yourself. Even if the lines and shapes are given, the result is your own individual masterpiece, which as it is, has only been created through your own creativity.

  • Relaxation & rest
    Many adults use coloring to give themselves some rest and take some time out. Similar to meditation, you put yourself in a relaxed state while painting. This is how you can reduce your own stress level. Painting is a sedative with no side effects that calm the mind and make it happy.
  • Wellness
    Many people use the principle of coloring with the help of given numbers. When painting by numbers, fields are marked with a number, each of which must be colored in with a corresponding color. Since all guidelines are clear and no decisions have to be made while painting, many find this type of painting relaxing.
  • Stress relief
    Many people have not only integrated painting into their everyday life as a hobby, but also try to effectively counteract or reduce stress by painting.
  • meditation
    Coloring for adults is a form of meditation for many. During a meditative session, the attempt is made to focus only on oneself and to explore one's core. The immediate surroundings should be hidden as far as possible. Many can also do this while coloring in given motifs.
  • Train attention
    We are usually busy and distracted by a variety of things in our everyday life. Many people also use multitasking in their professions: They talk on the phone while they are doing another task or are already thinking about the next appointment. When coloring, it is important to only focus on this one thing. This can also train attention.
  • Strengthen the memory
    If we are constantly stressed, it also affects our brain. Our brain then switches to constant stress mode, except during sleep at night. Often we provide our brain with so much input that it cannot process it that quickly. Many people are overwhelmed by it. Because information not only has to be recorded, but also processed. By painting you can create your own time out.
  • concentration
    In the digital society we are constantly able to access information. With technical devices, we also have the opportunity to distract ourselves continuously. By painting, we only concentrate on one thing at this moment and thus also promote our ability to concentrate.
  • Projection of emotions and feelings
    By painting it is possible to express your own feelings and thoughts. Many people, especially introverted characters or people who have experienced trauma, often find it difficult to verbally communicate what they have experienced. For them it can definitely have a liberating effect to paint.
  • Distance to your own situation
    Painting or coloring can have a supportive effect when switching off from everyday life. Because distance from everyday life can be very helpful in showing other perspectives and thus making it easier to find a solution.
  • Get involved in the flow
    Most people relax while painting when they are in a so-called positive “work flow”. You can achieve this when you are neither under nor overwhelmed and concentrate fully on the activity that is currently being carried out at that very moment. As a rule, everything else is faded out so that you can fully exploit your own ability to concentrate.

Find relaxation and peace while coloring

Away from the pressure to perform of “higher, faster, further”. When coloring, completely different criteria count: namely rest and relaxation. Many therefore find a perfect balance in painting and above all, they are once completely with themselves.

Due to the daily use of smartphones, tablets and laptops as well as the constant availability resulting from the internet, many people find it difficult to switch off properly after work. So the body gets into a state of constant arousal.

This excitement mainly releases stress hormones, which can damage the body in the long term and weaken the immune system.

Many adults have prejudices against painting until they have tried it for themselves and notice that they can relax while doing it. Adult coloring integrates perfectly into the social phenomenon of the do-it-yourself movement, which has spread over the past few years.

If we constantly rely on digitization in the digital world, we fall into an automatism, a machine in which we can no longer process the abundance of information that we feed our brain with on a daily basis.

It is becoming increasingly clear that people are striving for a countermovement to digitization. You want to create something yourself with your hands. Today is fast moving. What is being created today often disappears quickly into the vastness of the Internet.

Discover wellness through painting

The main reason why the marketing of coloring books for adults works so well is that many people now want a break. This is made clear by buzzwords such as “digital detox” or “taking a digital break”, which are used more and more.

This means taking a break from daily use of digital devices and preferring to use colored pencils instead. As a result, many discover how relaxation and wellness is possible by simply coloring in given motifs.

Painting works against stress

The continuing movement of the painting trend makes it clear that people want a retreat from digitized everyday life. Just switch off, lose yourself and relax. That seems to be the wish of many. The term anti-stress is also often found in connection with coloring books for adults.

Meditation through painting

Painting promotes your own creativity and helps you to find peace. Often we do not need continuous input, but simply time to process what we have seen and all the information that we feed our brain with on a daily basis.

The coloring trend can therefore also be seen as a kind of relaxation process, similar to yoga or meditation. Because it is also about finding yourself and drawing new strength through calm.

Painting promotes the ability to concentrate

Painting can support the positive effects on the body and the psyche. Switching off is the right word to describe the connection between painting and relaxation. Dr. Alfred Gebert from the Federal University of Applied Sciences in Münster confirms in an interview the positive effect of increasing concentration that painting has on the brain.

Painting as a therapeutic measure

Since the trend of coloring for adults is still quite new, there are currently no long-term scientific studies on the effects and effects of painting on adults. Art therapists, however, suspect that results similar to those of studies on the effects of occupational therapy can be expected.

At its core, it is about recognizing and reflecting on feelings and emotions. During therapeutic painting, your own thoughts and feelings are processed in art. It is not about a perfect result, but about the representation of your own feelings.

Many people who cannot express themselves verbally in conversation often find a good approach in occupational therapy, in which one can deal with one's emotional world not with words, but by working with pens, clay, soapstone or other materials.

The effects of painting on health

The positive effects of painting for stress relief and relaxation are versatile and can affect the body as follows:

  • The respiratory and heart rates drop
  • The cholesterol level goes down
  • Relaxation loosens the muscles
  • The own physical and psychological excitability is reduced
  • The blood pressure drops
  • Positive effect on depressive moods

Painting for adults - who is it for?

In general, painting for adults is suitable for everyone who enjoys painting or coloring in given motifs. Neither age nor any special educational background or artistic ability play a role.

Only your own experience while painting and your own fun should be the focus. Painting for adults is not about creating a perfect piece of art. It's about the flow state that arises through painting, when you give yourself completely to doing - without expectation and without judgment.

  • Stressed
    People who face high professional demands every day and who have to be able to cope with them are often looking for a balance to the stressful job in their private life. Painting for adults can be a very good solution.
  • Perfectionists
    People who have a perfectionist disposition often tend to have very high expectations of themselves. This usually affects not only professional activity, but also private life. In many cases, this often leads to permanent stress as perfectionists tend to never be satisfied.
    Perfectionists should therefore try to take time out in which they can let themselves go without any requirements, without expecting an optimal result or the pressure to have to deliver it.
  • Creative
    People who have a creative streak tend, because of their personality, to engage in creative activity in a professional as well as in a private context. But painting for adults is of course not only intended for adults who have a creative profession: it is for everyone who wants to be creative.
    Even creative people can experience a creative blackout or a low point in their creative phase. Then at the latest it will be time to take a break and draw new strength while painting and possibly collect new ideas.

More than relaxation: the benefits of painting for adults

Although painting for adults is often associated with stress relief, it offers much more. It helps us to find peace and to gain distance from many things. Often we do not need continuous input, but simply time to process what we have seen, heard, experienced and all the information that we feed our brain with on a daily basis. The opportunity to freely express yourself and your feelings at the same time promotes your own creativity. Painting reflects your own creative power and easily opens up a space to tap into this power and express yourself playfully according to your own taste.

  • Flexible
    The coloring book can be taken anywhere and is a good opportunity to switch off for a few minutes during the lunch break and to draw new strength.
  • Inexpensive
    A coloring book for adults is inexpensive and you only need a few pens in addition to the coloring book to get started right away. There are now even free coloring templates that you can download from the Internet and then print out.
  • Creative
    Coloring can also create creative periods of rest in everyday life. When coloring, you can encourage your own creativity by choosing the color you want, which is not subject to any specifications. For the motif, too, only your own wishes count.
  • Relaxing and calming
    The creative time out that you take while painting not only promotes the ability to concentrate, but also has a relaxing effect on our mind and body. By painting you can choose a creative hobby that you can practice alone or in a group.

The most popular coloring pages

In addition to mandalas, the most popular motifs include motifs from flora and fauna.But these are only a few motifs that are currently on the market. It is best to let yourself be inspired by the various offers in stores or on the Internet.

  • Coloring books for adults
    In most cases, the adult coloring books deal with complete topics. Some coloring books only contain mandalas, plants or animals. If you prefer more variety, it is best not to use a complete book, but to use individual coloring pages.
  • Paint by numbers for adults
    When painting by numbers for adults, fields with numbers should be painted in the given color. For example, a 1 can stand for the color yellow, so that at the end all fields marked with a 1 are painted in yellow. As a result, however, painting by numbers does not leave any leeway for your own color selection.
  • Painting mandalas for adults
    Mandalas are one of the most popular motifs in adult coloring. A mandala can be recognized by the fact that there is an inner core and from this point a circular mesh is formed outwards. In Tibetan culture, mandalas represent a center that radiates power. The core of a mandala is assigned to the seat of godliness.
  • Zentangles painting for adults
    Even with the so-called "zentangle" there are no limits to your own creativity, whether circular, straight or oval. Everything that is liked is put on paper. As soon as all the lines are on the paper, the coloring fun can begin. When it comes to zentangling, there are no given motifs or patterns. Before you start painting, you draw shapes or lines yourself, which can then be colored in.

Which types of pens are best for painting?

Which pens you use for coloring is up to your own preference. The best thing to do is to remember from your drawing class which pencils and colors you liked best back then. But rummaging in a specialty shop and trying out different types of pens can also help you make the right choice.

There are so many different options: from felt pens or crayons to watercolors. You may have to try out several colors until you are satisfied with your choice. Just try out what you like best. Some people prefer to use acrylic paints, others prefer to use wooden pencils.

The following list should support you in your choice and help you to find out which pencils you should use.

  • Paint with watercolor pencils
    People who have already gained experience in drawing and painting usually opt for watercolor paints or watercolor pencils. Watercolor pencils are not that easy to use - especially when it comes to coloring in given areas. After you have painted an area with a watercolor pencil, the area is painted over with a damp brush. This is how you get the watercolor effect. The difficulty here is adhering to the given lines. Of course, you can also do without guidelines or, if you so wish, you can paint over the edge. Watercolor pencils are usually twice as expensive as colored pencils, depending on the brand you choose.
  • Paint with colored pencils
    Most people, especially beginners, turn to colored pencils for adult coloring as well as number painting. A clear advantage of colored pencils is that they are inexpensive and easy to control while coloring.
    Precision is particularly important when it comes to coloring in the edges of the templates. Thanks to the tip of the colored pencils, this is not a problem and it is easy to get a grip on over-painting. Depending on the brand you choose, you can get colored pencils from just a few euros.
  • Painting with fineliners
    The most important advantage of using fineliners is the precision with which you can work. Fineliners have a very thin tip. However, fineliners are rather unsuitable when large areas are to be painted. In terms of price, fineliners are in the crayon category.
  • Paint with felt-tip pens
    Felt-tip pens are less suitable for adult coloring or painting by numbers. The disadvantage of using felt-tip pens for coloring is that permanent attention must be paid to the fact that the paint needs a short time so that the paint can dry.
    Otherwise, this can easily blur the color, which can lead to a result that one is not satisfied with. Felt-tip pens are in the same price range as crayons and fineliners. Here too, of course, the choice of brand is crucial.
  • Painting with pencils
    If you do not want any colors for coloring, then you can resort to an inexpensive variant and use a pencil for painting. Depending on the pressure exerted on the tip of the pencil, different shades of gray can then be achieved.
    This can be a very interesting alternative to painting for adults because most people use colors to get the most colorful and colorful result possible.

What other utensils are needed for painting?

Apart from the selected pens, a painting template or paper on which you want to design the template yourself, nothing else is required for painting for adults. However, some, especially experienced users, also like to use a canvas.

  • canvas
    Usually paper is used for painting. But many also prefer painting on canvases. Here it is possible either to draw a template directly on the canvas yourself or to buy a canvas that is already printed with a motif.
  • coloring book
    If you don't want to draw a template yourself, use the coloring book for adult coloring. Coloring books for adults are already available in a variety of versions that contain a wide variety of motifs. Coloring books are available in stationary as well as online shops.

What should you pay particular attention to when purchasing coloring books and other utensils?

When purchasing coloring books, you should above all make sure that you like the motif. While some people prefer to color in mandalas, others prefer to envision an enchanted forest. This selection also depends heavily on your own needs and personality.

The quality of the paper on which the motifs are printed also counts. In general, the thicker a paper is, the higher quality and more expensive it is. The choice of pens is also a matter of taste. Coloring beginners mostly use colored pencils.

What are the costs for painting utensils and coloring pages?

The costs for the painting utensils and templates are based on your own requirements. In addition to the free coloring pages from the Internet, there are coloring books up to 30 euros. When it comes to the choice of pens, there is a price range from a few euros to higher double-digit sums, depending on your own preferences.

Are coloring pages also available for free?

Well-known companies that dominate the market in the creative industry, such as Faber Castell, offer templates for free download to anyone interested on their own company website.

There is a variety of motifs from the flora and fauna to choose from. The best thing to do is to browse the internet yourself. Since the range of free templates is now very large, there is sure to be something suitable for you.

Painting for adults under criticism

There is criticism of the coloring books for adults in particular from state-approved art therapists. They criticize the fact that many adults could mistake painting for art therapy. Therapy has a deeper effect in art.

In art therapy, what has been designed is then reflected on with a trained therapist. This step is missing when simply coloring in without therapeutic guidance. Painting for adults should not be confused with art therapy. Studies on the long-term effects of coloring have not yet been carried out.

Experiences with painting for adults

Coloring in given structures and lines lets many people not only immerse themselves in another world for a short time, but also forget about the responsibility they have to take on in everyday life for themselves, children or employees.

Because the specifications are clear and the samples are ready. These only have to be colored in and release from any responsibility for this time. People who have already tried painting for adults report that they felt a significant drop in pressure and felt significantly more relaxed as a result.

Painting for adults - a guide to self-experiment

First and foremost, it's about yourself. About what you want, to free yourself from pressure. Choose the motif that you like best. And the same goes for the choice of colors and pen type.

If you don't want to paint alone, there is now a popular alternative in many large cities: Meetings are organized there where interested adults paint together.

Some café operators have already recognized the trend and are offering extra tables whose surface is decorated with paper that is decorated with ornaments and decorations. These then have to be colored in for the guest.

What should you pay particular attention to at the beginning?

In principle there is nothing special to consider. You should create a place of calm so that you are not constantly disturbed while painting, for example by loud music or construction noise.

Which utensils make sense at the beginning?

Choose your utensils based on what you like best and what you enjoy most. Of course, you can also change the pens and colors if you notice that they don't suit you and you would like to try something different.

Painting for adults is all about relaxing and releasing yourself from persistent pressure. There is no right or wrong, beautiful or ugly, only your own satisfaction is clearly in the foreground.

Which painting techniques are suitable for beginners?

The same applies to the painting techniques: It's best to choose a technique that you think suits you best. For absolute beginners, it is advisable to start with a motif that contains few very small individual elements, as this can lead to tension when the painting is finished.

Painting for Adults - Tips and Tricks

Basically, it's important to always remember that painting should only be about you. Not about whether your picture is particularly beautiful or whether others like it. Only you and your relaxation count at this moment. Try to keep that in focus as you paint, and just let go of everything else.

  • Take your time
    Take your time with the choice of motifs. If you have decided on a motif that you no longer like after a while, put it aside and orientate yourself again.
  • Retreat to an undisturbed place
    Make sure you take your time coloring. It's not about how fast you finish, but that you can enjoy the time you paint. And above all to find peace and relaxation. This can be difficult to do under pressure.
  • Start in the middle
    Most people use the following principle to color in. You start in the center of the picture and then work your way out. This has significant advantages, especially with sensitive pencils such as watercolor pencils, as they can otherwise easily smudge.
  • Evenly and in one direction
    When you paint, make sure that you paint evenly and in one direction to get a nice result. Therefore try to always apply the same pressure on your pen while you are painting.
  • Contrasting images look more interesting
    Contrasting and colorful images can make an image appear more varied. But that also depends on your own personal taste. Some people like a lot of contrasts, some don't. Everything is allowed when coloring.
  • Sharpening for small and broad sides for large areas
    If you want to use colored pencils for coloring, the following tip will help you: For small areas that require precision, you should use a pencil that is as sharpened as possible. For large areas, try to place the pen on the side of the paper.
  • Create color transitions
    If you want to pay particular attention to the aesthetics of the picture, you can think about in advance how you want to design your color gradients. Most people, however, let their imaginations run wild while painting and spontaneously decide which colors to choose.
  • It's about the painting, not the result.
    We are available non-stop, constantly under time pressure and stressful of deadlines. So no one is surprised if we want a balance that is not just about delivering results and showing performance. It is okay to take refuge in a picturesque world for a short time, where there is no pressure or stress.