Remember when you were a kid and the satisfaction of finishing a coloring sheet?
That feeling doesn’t go away when you graduate on to middle, high school and college. The thing that changes though is the sense of zen you feel when you zone out and focus on coloring the intricate designs. Forget all of the stressors, the papers due, the extracurriculars. It’s nice to return to a moment when coloring in the lines was enough.
Coloring books, often marketed for children, aren’t so much a little kid thing anymore. Coloring sheets are for teens, too. Publishers have dedicated entire books to the mindful act of coloring. Whether it’s a beautiful mandala coloring sheet or a scene from a luscious garden, the pages serve a very meditative purpose.
That's why we've been so excited to launch the Ink+Volt Inspirational Coloring Book.
We started as a company focused on creating products and systems to help you reach your goals and go after your dreams. And what we learned is that your personal progress is just as important as your professional progress. Everything from practicing gratitude to finding what brings you joy are also a huge part of leading a happy and successful life.
The benefits of coloring are clear: reduced stress, improved focus, heightened creativity, and even better sleep. That's why a coloring book is the perfect tool for releasing stress and tapping into your creative side. Because the right side of your brain, which helps process things like color, shapes, music, and art, is just as important as your logical, goal-oriented, and rational left side of the brain. Balance is key.
Science says Color
I think I stopped coloring for a grade when I was about 10 years old. That’s when assignments turned into term papers and tests became all-consuming. I never thought that the coloring pages I got as a kid would end up being so relaxing. But my aunt always kept a coloring book and a fresh package of crayons near her kitchen table. When I’d visit, we’d each pick out a page and chat while we traded colors. No matter where I was in life, I could count on a coloring sheet to clear my mind.
There’s a reason for that.
One study from the University of the West of England asked undergraduate students to spend 20 minutes reading and 20 minutes coloring a mandala coloring sheet. While the students completed the tasks, they were asked three times about their stress, creativity and mindfulness levels.
“They found that, compared to reading, coloring reduced anxiety and improved mindfulness, as measured by the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale,” Forbes wrote about the study.
The study also had another interesting point: you might want to pick up a mandala coloring sheet.
“The paper does reference a few other studies that have tried to figure out which kind of pictures you should be coloring in, but the results of those were not conclusive, and didn’t all show the same results,” Forbes wrote of the study. “Although, they do note that one of these other studies ‘compared coloring mandalas with an underwater scene depicting a sea turtle, which was not effective at reducing anxiety.’”
With that in mind, download our FREE mandala coloring page right here! It's inspired by designs that you'll find in the Ink+Volt Inspirational Coloring Book.
There are few things I like more than filling a blank page. That’s probably why I got into writing.
The freedom to put your spin on an empty canvas is kind of the same with coloring, but instead of stressing about what my editor says — or how your teacher will grade you — I’m free to do it however I choose to do it. You can use any colors for any part of the page you want, and it’ll still turn out perfectly fine. You can mix utensils, like markers, colored pencils or crayons. You can take your time and plan the whole thing out or dash through without giving any of it much thought.
With coloring pages there’s a little bit of relief that all you have to do is what you feel, and that’s such a relaxing thing when you have to conform and take direction the rest of the time.
I keep a coloring book and package of colored pencils at my coffee table — much like my aunt did when I was a little kid — so when I sit down to zone out or need a few moments to clear my mind, I can open a page and think about simpler times when coloring in the lines was an assignment. But now I do it knowing there aren’t any rules.
For kids, there’s some debate over whether coloring pages actually have any educational value because there are creativity limitations, unlike drawing a picture. But researchers do seem to agree that they’re good for fine tuning motor skills.
As a teenager and adult it seems like we view coloring pages sort of differently. A chance to make our own decisions about something in front of us. So, even while nostalgic, they do hold value in creativity.
Finding Coloring Sheets
Better than the calming feeling that comes with a coloring sheet is maybe that there’s a coloring book for everybody and every interest. From the royal wedding to art deco fashions, there are thousands of books and sheets out there.
They also range from easy patterns and designs— like this this kind of silly book called Unicorns are Jerks — to much more intricate options, which will capture your attention for hours, like the Artful Quote Coloring Book.
You really can’t go wrong with either, and having a mixture of choices is a good idea too. Whenever I really want to dive into mindfulness, I reach for a mandala or ornate design. I get lost in the pattern and the opportunity to make it my own.
But if the thought of something intricate is overwhelming, I opt for something a little bit more minimal. I can finish pretty easily and feel like I’ve accomplished something and decompressed in the process.
I like picking out or printing a coloring sheet at the end of the day to clear my brain. They can be easy to do after a round of studying or homework, almost like a palate cleanser for your mind before moving on to your next task. They also keep me busy while I need to mull things over. Studying for an exam can be a lot of information, so while I’m processing it all I find it easy to keep myself busy without completely taking on another topic.
A quick Google search can also lead you to tons of free coloring pages, just as diverse as the books you’ll find in stores and on Amazon, so it’s easy to find one in between classes.
To get started, download your free mandala coloring sheet right here, and order your copy of the Ink+Volt Coloring book today!