When I was a child, rainy days meant it was time to break out the colouring books and spend hours filling in cartoon characters and animals with every colour of the rainbow. I remember in primary school, my friends and I used to rush to grab the best coloured pencils from the tin that was filled with various brands, such as Crayola, Prismacolor, and no-name colouring pencils that required A LOT of TLC to avoid breaking the lead or tearing the paper.
As an adult, I still find myself drawn to the activity of colouring and doodling when I need a break from the stress of daily life. I had heard of the recent trend of adult colouring, which touted it as a form of self-care and relaxation. Curiosity got the best of me, and I couldn't resist picking up an adult colouring book featuring intricate mandalas and detailed scenery.
As I coloured in each section, I felt my mind quieting down and the worries of the day fading away. It was as if the act of colouring was washing away my stress and leaving me feeling more at ease. I couldn't believe that something so simple could have such a profound effect.
I started doing some research and discovered that there were numerous potential benefits to adult colouring.
The Many Health Benefits of Colouring Books for Adults 🖍️
1. Relaxes Your Brain and Improves Brain Function 🧠
Adult colouring books can help you relax your brain and improve brain function. The act of colouring can quiet your mind and reduce intrusive thoughts. Colouring also activates different parts of your brain's cerebral hemispheres, including creativity and logic. Choosing colours stimulates your creativity, while colouring shapes and forms activates your logic. By engaging in regular colouring, you can boost your brain's overall function and enhance relaxation.
2. Benefits Your Mental Health
Recent research from the University of Otago in New Zealand suggests that adults who colour-in for as little as 10 minutes a day may experience a significant improvement in their mental health. The study found that colouring could potentially be used as an affordable and accessible self-help tool to manage some symptoms of poor mental health. Participants who were assigned a week of colouring tasks reported lower levels of depressive and anxiety symptoms compared to those who engaged in other mind games such as Sudoku.
3. Induces Meditative State and Provides Therapeutic Benefits 🧘♀️
Similar to art therapy, adult colouring can have therapeutic effects for many individuals. Research suggests that concentrating on the intricate designs of a colouring page can induce a meditative state in the mind, allowing one to be present in the moment and reduce stress.
In this meditative state, the mind is free from distractions and negative thoughts, resulting in a feeling of inner peace and calm. By focusing solely on the act of colouring, individuals can improve their meditation skills, gradually enhancing their ability to concentrate and achieve a relaxed state of mind.
4. Enhances Fine Motor Skills and May Delay Cognitive Decline
Colouring intricate designs with smaller spaces can help refine fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and dexterity. These skills are not commonly utilised during digital activities like scrolling on electronic devices, making colouring an ideal exercise for improving manual abilities.
Some health professionals suggest that engaging in activities like colouring, jigsaw puzzles, and brainteasers may help delay the onset of dementia by promoting cognitive function. These activities stimulate the brain and can improve memory, concentration, and problem-solving skills. By incorporating colouring into your routine, you may be able to enhance your fine motor skills and protect your cognitive health.
5. Improves Sleep Quality and Reduces Blue Light Exposure 😴
Colouring before bed can improve sleep quality by helping you unwind and relax before bedtime. Unlike electronic devices, which emit blue light that can inhibit melatonin release and disrupt sleep patterns, colouring can be a calming and soothing activity that doesn't affect your circadian rhythms.
By colouring in a book before bedtime, you can eliminate the need for electronic devices in the bedroom, reducing blue light exposure and promoting natural melatonin release. This can help you fall asleep faster and enjoy a more restful night's sleep.
6. Boosts Concentration and Promotes Mental Clarity
Engaging in adult colouring books can help improve focus and concentration by activating the frontal lobe of the brain, which is responsible for organisation and problem-solving. Regular colouring sessions can provide a much-needed break from the demands of daily life, allowing you to unwind and focus on a single task.
Through this focused activity, individuals can enhance their mental clarity and cognitive abilities, resulting in improved concentration and productivity. Colouring can also be a form of mindfulness meditation, providing an opportunity to be present in the moment and fully engaged in the activity at hand.
7. Alleviates Anxiety and Enhances Mental Wellness
Colouring can be a simple yet effective way to alleviate anxiety and promote mental wellness. Studies have shown that colouring for 20 minutes or more can lower heart rate and reduce feelings of anxiety. More intricate designs, such as mandalas, can be particularly effective in promoting relaxation and stress reduction.
In addition to reducing anxiety, colouring can also enhance mood, promote mindfulness, and reduce mental health stress. By engaging in this calming activity, individuals can experience a range of benefits that promote overall mental wellness and alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression.
While colouring alone may not be a cure for anxiety or depression, it can be a valuable tool in reducing stress levels and promoting relaxation. To further enhance the therapeutic benefits of colouring, individuals can also seek the guidance of a creative practitioner or art therapist. By practicing colouring regularly, individuals can improve their mental health and reduce their risk of associated conditions such as body aches, sleep problems, fatigue, and depression.
8. Promotes Stress Relief
Colouring can be an effective way to promote stress relief and nostalgia in adults. By engaging in this repetitive activity that requires attention to detail, individuals can shift their focus away from stressors and promote relaxation.
9. Encourages Self-care and Self-soothing Behaviours
Engaging in the activity of colouring can help individuals cultivate self-care and self-soothing behaviours. By taking the time to focus on an activity that brings them joy and relaxation, individuals can develop a sense of self-awareness and prioritise their mental wellness.
10. Offers a Sense of Accomplishment and Pride 💪
Completing a colouring page can provide individuals with a sense of accomplishment and pride in their finished product. This can boost self-esteem and provide a positive emotional boost, especially for those who may feel they lack creativity or artistic ability. Additionally, the act of colouring can serve as a reminder that progress is often achieved through small, manageable steps.
11. It Creates an Opportunity For Play and Nostalgia
Colouring can offer a playful and enjoyable break from the daily responsibilities of adulthood. Engaging in an activity like colouring can help bring back memories of childhood and can provide a simple, distracting, and fun experience. In addition to its stress-relieving properties, colouring can also stir up feelings of nostalgia and remind individuals of their childhood. This connection to a simpler time can further enhance the therapeutic benefits of colouring and promote a sense of calm.
Just like children, adults need play to help develop and maintain a healthy mind and body. Along with colouring, activities such as jigsaw puzzles and games can also provide opportunities for fun and stress relief.
Adult colouring books can provide a wide range of benefits for people of all ages, but it's important to note that they do not replace the benefits of art therapy with a trained professional. If you experience ongoing mental health symptoms like anxiety, depression, or mood swings, it's important to seek professional treatment.
I learned good habits like adult colouring give back, you relax, gain insights, build muscle memory, produce art. Bad habits only take: they drain your energy, take motivation, steal time, and produce nothing. Now, whenever I need a moment of peace and quiet, I turn to my colouring books. With each stroke of my coloured pencil, I feel a sense of joy and satisfaction, knowing that I am doing something that brings me true happiness.
So why not give it a try? Pick up some coloured pencils or markers and start colouring your worries away. I highly recommend The Affirmations Colouring Book I bought on Amazon for just £11.11!
This unique book combines the power of affirmations with the calming benefits of colouring to help you manifest your desires and achieve your goals. Each page of The Affirmations Colouring Book features a beautiful illustration along with a powerful affirmation inspired by the teachings of Neville Goddard's Law of Assumption. As you colour in the intricate designs, you can repeat the affirmations to yourself, allowing them to sink deep into your subconscious mind and create positive changes in your life.
More from Rest In Pieces
Rest In Pieces Colour Me puzzles are a type of jigsaw puzzle that features black-and-white illustrations that can be coloured in by the puzzler, allowing the puzzler to add their own personal touch to the finished image. The puzzles are made with high-quality materials and feature precision-cut pieces for a satisfying puzzle experience.