9 Reasons You Need to Join the Adult Coloring Book Craze

Coloring Isn’t Just for Kids

As of today, 25% of the top selling books on Amazon.com are adult coloring books.  That’s across all categories, not just arts and crafts.  Step into your local bookstore and you’re bound to see a large display of dozens of coloring books meant for adults.  What’s going on here?

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Childhood Memories

I have a powerful childhood memory of a time when our apartment lost power.  My mother had three active children to entertain, and not much to work with.

She lit several candles, gathered us around the table, and brought out all the crayons and coloring books she could find.  In what would turn out to be one of the greatest hours of mothering, the four of us proceeded to color by candlelight.

It was magical.

Obviously, it affected me.  I was seven years old at the time, but I remember it today.  For several weeks after it happened, I asked my mom to recreate the experience.  I wanted her to turn out the lights so we could do it again.  It never quite worked.

Do We Outgrow Coloring?

What is it about coloring that fascinates us?  Why is it that when you toss a few coloring books and crayons on a table adults and children alike know exactly what to do next?

Those answers may date back to our ancestors painting their stories on the walls of cave dwellings.  People have expressed themselves and told their stories through art for thousands of years.

And now, it seems the adult coloring book phenomenon has reached the tipping point and become popular.

Before you protest there’s not a creative bone in your body, here are nine reasons you should look into the adult coloring book trend:

  • Coloring makes great down time. Do you look forward to free time because you just don’t have to think so hard?  You may not get a day off as often as you’d like, but you certainly can spend a few minutes coloring after work.  Coloring can transition your mind from an active workday to a relaxing evening.
  • Coloring is good for your vision. In addition to stimulating various visual processes, it’s good for eye hand coordination too.
  • Coloring allows you to switch gears. Have you ever muddled through a workday and left wondering what you accomplished?  Without a clear separation of tasks you’re likely to lose focus on all of them.  Inserting a short burst of different activities like coloring can help you maintain focus on your next task and stay productive.
  • Coloring is a great way to take a break. If your day requires constant planning, thinking, and decision making, coloring may be just the thing you need to give your mind a short but needed rest.
  • Coloring is artistic, even if you don’t think you’re creative. We all need art in our lives.  With an adult coloring book, the artistic process has been simplified – just grab some markers and get moving.  Even people who deny they’re creative can pick up a marker and color for a few minutes.
  • Coloring can make you smarter. It’s no secret that creativity stimulates our brains, leading to new ways of thinking and seeing.  Some of the world’s greatest discoveries were made away from the drudgery of hard work and during a creative activity.
  • Coloring can be therapeutic. Psychologists and art experts argue whether coloring is true therapy or simply therapeutic.  I think the argument misses the point.  If coloring makes you feel relaxed, focused, energized, or rested, hasn’t it left you better off than when you started?
  • Coloring has no rules. Are you straight laced?  Then get a coloring book full of mandalas and color it symmetrically.  Are you more of a free spirit?  Then by all means, color a less structured page and feel free to go outside the lines.  With so many options available you should easily find a book suited to you.
  • Coloring can help you connect. If public art stores scare you, relax.  You can invite friends and family over for a color-in.  Add food, drink, and music and you’ll have just as much fun for less expense.  And if you don’t have a coloring book, plenty of samples are available for free online.

There’s no question adult coloring books are popular.  They’re an inexpensive and easy way to add art to your life, take a quick break, or stimulate your eyes.  If you’re living the visual lifestyle, you may want to join the trend and start one for yourself.

Question: Have you tried one of the popular adult coloring books?  What did you think?  Please answer here or on our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram pages.

See also: 4 Reasons You Don’t Want an Adult Coloring Book

One Successful Trick to Living Life Beautifully

The Sooner You Learn It, the Happier You’ll Be

Have you ever met one of those overly grateful people?  You know the kind: always finding something to be thankful about, even in the face of problems.  Frankly, it can get annoying.  But it shouldn’t.  As it turns out, being grateful is one of the best ways to live simply and beautifully.

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From Grumpy to Grateful

I met Janice years ago as a patient.  She was rarely happy.  She had been seeing another eye doctor and wasn’t impressed, so she decided to give me a try.  Even though I just met her, she implied that most of what was wrong with her life was my fault.

Despite that, she continued to return to me and we built a solid relationship.  At first she was a bit of a wild card – I never knew when she would get mad at me or at life and fly off the handle.

But an interesting thing happened.  The older she got, the more mellow she became.  Eventually she and I enjoyed talking about reading and gardening.  We even exchanged books and talked about them when she returned.  Her eye health and vision almost seemed secondary to her visit.

This pattern is common with many people.  Incurably grumpy at first, and then mellow as the years go by.  The change is sometimes surprising.  Once my team was expecting an earful from a patient and received a bouquet of flowers instead.

The People Connection

Here’s what I believe: As people grow older, they begin to realize that few things in life are worth getting worked up over.  With maturity people understand their relationships with people are most important.  And, it doesn’t really matter that the waitress forgot a side item.  Or that driver cut too close.  Or an aunt forgot to call.

Now, I realize there are things in life worth standing up for.  But if we admit it, most times we aren’t practicing righteous indignation.  We’re just being grumpy.  Remember the bestselling book by Richard Carlson called Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff?  The subtitle was …And It’s All Small Stuff.

When I find myself getting uptight, I try to remember the example so many of my older patients have taught me.

Be thankful: Gratitude isn’t just for holidays.  It’s helpful all year long.  It’s proven to make you healthier, and you’ll endear yourself to others as well.  Plus, it’s one of the foundations of living the visual lifestyle.

Be patient: Appreciation leads to patience.  Instead of pointing out mistakes, how about appreciating the person and their effort?  That leads to the patience needed to move ahead without a fuss.

Be friendly: There’s no question that friendly people get treated better wherever they go.  But it isn’t enough to tell yourself to be a friendly person.  It will happen much easier if you practice gratitude and patience.  See how Mrs. Jones practiced appreciation in this post.

Some things in life are worth getting worked up over.  Most of them aren’t.  When you feel yourself making a big deal out of a small matter, remember to be grateful.  It’s a trick many people I know have learned, and most wish they had mastered it years ago.

Question:  What can you be grateful for today?  Tell about it here or on our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram accounts.

5 Reasons You Need Premium Sunglasses When You Drive

Make Your Drive Time the Best It Can Be

Driving towards the sun can be distracting, disorienting, and dangerous.  Even if you have good sunwear it can be a challenge.  So why drive without them when you know sunglasses can be so easy and helpful?

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My local traffic announcer mentions the sun a lot.  Usually it’s in the form of a warning: “If you’re heading west, be careful – you’ll be facing the sun.”  Even when you’re not directly facing the sun when you drive, it can be hard to maintain focus on a bright day.  Fortunately, there’s an easy solution that works.

Wear a Good Pair of Sunglasses

I’m not talking about gas station or department store cheapies.  If you have sunwear, it should do the job right.  I like what Mike Steere said in Outside Magazine: “Does it make sense, given the preciousness of sight, to be careless or cheap when purchasing sunglasses?”

He also has this to say: “Is there a more important piece of gear than the one that lets you see the world clearly?  Of course not.”

It’s that important to use good quality sunwear.  And for a car trip, it’s even more important.  Here’s why:

  • Vision: Although airline incidents get more media attention, driving is less safe. You need absolutely clear vision when you drive – especially at interstate speeds.  Most premium sunwear can be had with or without prescription.  No matter which you need, with a good pair of sunglasses you’re likely to see better than you ever have.
  • Comfort: Blurry vision and increased glare will cause eye strain and fatigue. Headaches and body aches may add to the misery.  And, you’ll have trouble staying focused if your eyes begin to water because of all that stress.
  • Safety: Safety was a major theme in my last post about long car trips. It’s also a major theme of living the visual lifestyle.  This only makes sense.  Crystal clear vision and healthy eyes won’t help if you ignore safety issues and find yourself in a major accident.  Clarity and comfort allow you to focus on your driving.  Your chances of arriving safely are better with fewer distractions.
  • Health: The sun’s UV and high energy blue light causes eye diseases and damage, especially over long periods of time. The small decision to wear sunglasses daily will pay off later in your life.
  • Beauty: If you have never enjoyed a bright, sunny day through premium, polarized sunwear then you’re missing a huge treat. It’s common to hear the word “Wow!” when someone tries them for the first time.  If you really want to see your world pop with color and beauty, a pair of high quality polarized sunglasses is an absolute must.

Whether I’m driving eight minutes or eight hours, premium polarized sunwear is at the top of my list of go-to gear.  It should be at the top of yours too.

Question: Have you ever been stuck without your sunwear?  What happened?  Tell us all about it by commenting here or on our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram pages.