PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Think back to when you were a kid and got a new coloring book. How did it make you feel?

You probably couldn’t wait to get your crayons, right?

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Most of us eventually stopped coloring, but it might be time to buy a new pack of crayons.

There was a time that the coloring book section in any book store was geared specifically to kids. But, that’s not the case anymore.

When you talk about coloring books these days, you’re talking about coloring books for adults, and they’re made for a whole different reason.

“It’s so relaxing, I think every adult should give it a try,” Karen Lyons said.

“It’s a nice stress-reliever,” Ashley Yachik said.

Coloring books aren’t anything like they used to be. They are elaborate, intricate, and sophisticated.

“It started about a year ago. People came in looking for Johanna books and they were selling out like crazy and then there was just a frenzy,” Melissa Guess, of Barnes & Noble, said.

It’s a frenzy that has only grown, but why?

Adults who color say it’s not just an outlet for their creativity. It is also a stress-reliever, and gives them something to look forward to that they can control.

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“They tell me that during certain periods of time that they’re stressed or feeling inundated with all of the pressures of daily life, the idea of doing something simplistic that’s not complicated even something that has built-in boundaries, so they are coloring within the lines,” Dr. Joseph Cvitkovic said.

But, don’t confuse this with the coloring you used to do as a child. The patterns are much different. Some people use crayons, others pencils, and still others choose markers, with tips that resemble paintbrushes.

Each method can have its own benefit.

“Even the sound of it to a certain extent has a bit of a hypnotic effect. So, that once again, if you’re focusing yourself on something in a way where you are focused and concentrated in a relaxed way,” Dr. Cvitkovic said.

“When I was small, that was something that I enjoyed doing. I loved coloring, so it did take me back, that waxy smell,” Lyons said.

There are coloring books and tools you can buy, and like everything else, there are apps you can download that let you pick your colors, tap on a space and color digitally.

“It’s not so much that a coloring book in itself is therapeutic, but how a person would approach it,” Dr. Cvitkovic said.

The cost can vary.

A coloring book can be as low as just a few dollars to $20 or $30 each. Crayons, pencils or markers depend on what you select.

There are some websites that have pictures you can download for free to color.

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But, it may not be too late to add coloring to someone’s last-minute shopping list.

Lynne Hayes-Freeland