As children, a favourite pastime for many was colouring in. Whether you were a stickler for staying in the lines or found freedom in unusual colour combinations, most of us have fond memories of this activity.
Now, colouring in has been scaled up for us adults – and it’s being promoted as a stress reliever. This is because it engages us both physically and mentally. The physical aspect helps to channel any nervous energy, while the mental aspect stirs the imagination and helps us to relax.
The adult colouring books that are emerging have more intricate patterns and designs which are challenging enough to encourage mindfulness, but simple enough to instigate a meditative state. Colouring in has even been described as an active meditation.
Research has shown that structured colouring in (rather than doodling or sketching) decreases anxiety and stress. Again, this is thought to be because of the fine balance between being engagement and relaxation.
If you want to give it a go, try out the following books:
One of the first of its kind, this book includes pages of nature-inspired scenes ready to be coloured. Some pages are incomplete, allowing you the chance to stretch your imagination to finish off the scenes. There are even hidden woodland creatures for you to hunt for.
Full of geometric and kaleidoscopic illustrations, this book is designed to induce a sense of calm. The designs range from simple to complex, so you can start with an easy design and work your way up to something more intricate.
A bit of fun for Bill Murray fans, this book has less emphasis on reducing stress and more on letting you relive your favourite Bill Murray film scenes. A novelty item for sure, but still comes with the therapeutic benefits of colouring in – we think it would make a great gift!