Coloring used to be reserved for children but recently, the activity has found a different demographic. What started as a niche hobby has now turned into an international trend, as adult coloring books find themselves on more and more bestsellers’ lists throughout the world. However, while this trend may be a fun way to pass the time, it’s the books’ therapeutic properties that really have them flying off shelves. Here are some benefits of colouring:
1) Reduces Stress
An accumulation of research shows that these creative activities can help you de-stress from everyday pressures. Recent studies suggest that structured, rhythmic endeavors such as colouring, knitting, crocheting or quilting are particularly beneficial because they ease you into a meditative state of mind that allows you to push away negative thoughts and worries.
2) Sparks Creativity
Everyone has the potential to be creative. However, sometimes our imaginations are stifled by social expectations, daily life, and limited time. The more educated we are, the more often we will prefer to look at things the way they are supposed to be, rather than allowing our minds to wander over imaginative possibilities. When we use colouring books as therapy, we are helping to unlock our imaginations. Even more so if we challenge ourselves to "colour outside of the lines", so to speak.
3) Relaxes Mind
According to clinical psychologist Ben Michaelis, coloring is a stress-free activity that relaxes the amygdala — the fear center of the brain — and allows your mind to get the rest it needs. Colouring enthusiasts claim that coloring makes them feel calmer, mentally clearer, happier, and more relaxed. This is not surprising when you consider that all arts and crafts hobbies have the power to focus the brain similarly to meditation.
4) Reconnects with Inner Child
Colouring usually reminds someone of children or their childhood. Some therapists also believe that it has the added benefit of transporting someone back in time to the days of innocence and simple happiness which may come in the elementary form of picking the right colour for your masterpiece.
5) Promotes coordination
As children, we work very hard to develop our motor skills, therefore it is a shame to let them go after we become adults. Because fine motor skills require extra work by your brain to coordinate your actions, and muscle control in your hands and arms, colouring can help delay loss of these important skills as we age. It may also help fight cognitive loss, especially if we choose challenging pieces every so often.
It is one of the few activities that can take our minds and eyes of the screen in this digital age today. As colouring books become an increasingly popular hobby for adults, this usually-solo activity has also turned into a social one. Instead of weekly happy hours, try organizing a colouring party instead. It's fun, stress-free, and there's very little chance that anyone will want to stab someone else with a colored pencil.
Colouring is a great way to explore your creativity — it’s easy, inexpensive and you don’t have to possess drawing skills. The time you spend colouring an image may give you a sense of satisfaction can have a positive ripple effect throughout your day. It is time to pick one up today!
This article was contributed by Samantha Yong.