These days colouring in is recognised as having benefits for adults. The number of colouring in books aimed at the adult market has flourished in recent years. Colouring in books for adults were outselling cookery books in France a couple of years ago. Some colouring in books are even designed by psychologists as a therapeutic tool.
Adapted from Pixabay
Years ago colouring in was considered an activity only suitable for children. It was used as an activity to give practice staying within the lines or to keep children busy at school when they had finished their other work. Sometimes it was seen as a reward. However it wasn't considered a valuable use of time. Ideas have changed.
Research has found adults also benefit from colouring in because it:
may make falling asleep easier
Reduces anxiety Way back in the early 20th century, the famous psychiatrist, Carl Jung, recommended his patients colour mandalas to aid relaxation.
Some therapists use colouring in activities designed for adults with their patients to help them relax, perhaps in conjunction with another form of therapy. Colouring in sheets are used in some support groups to help participants relax while they are conversing.
Colouring in is being used with elderly people suffering dementia. It has been found to reduce agitation and anxiety.
Some people who suffer social anxiety find they are less tense if they spend time colouring in before leaving the house.
Those who find it difficult to practice deep breathing, meditation or relaxation techniques may find colouring in comes more naturally.
Encourages mindfulness Colouring in involves concentrating on the present moment and provides an escape from the stress of everyday problems. It has been claimed the relaxation gained from colouring in helps relieve headaches for some people.
Doing some colouring in makes a person slow down. Focussing on a colouring in project can distract the brain from negative thoughts. Colouring mandalas is especially good in this way.
Mandala Courtesy of Pixabay
Increases creativity Using colouring in books can increase a person's creativity. Creativity improves the neural functioning of the brain. Some colouring in books include blank pages for doodling and drawing your own pictures, encouraging creativity beyond deciding which colours and shades to use.
May make it easier to fall asleep We often hear using a computer, mobile phone or other technology that emits blue light interferes with falling asleep. Doing something relaxing is recommended. Colouring in before going to bed helps some people unwind, enabling them to doze off quickly.
Courtesy of Pixabay
Is colouring in beneficial to everyone? There are those who don't find colouring in beneficial. They worry about using the 'wrong' colours or not staying within the lines. This can particularly worry perfectionists or those with a condition which causes their hands to shake.
For many people, colouring in has health benefits, is cheap and doesn't have unwanted side effects. It's worth giving it a try if you need help with anxiety or sleep or want to increase your mindfulness or creativity.