Colour your way to less stress

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Colour your way to less stress


Laptop and coloured pencils on work desk

26 April 2016

What used to be the domain of children, has now been taken over by adults. Colouring in for adults has become an international trend and adult colouring books are finding themselves on more and more bestseller lists around the world.

Art has long been recognised as a form of therapy for unwell people. While colouring in may not technically be considered art therapy, it certainly may be therapeutic for some people, and for those of us whose artistic talents extend to drawing stick figures, colouring in might be the next best thing to painting a picture or playing an instrument.

The Benefits

Stress Release

Like meditation, colouring allows us to switch off our brains from other thoughts and focus on the moment, which generates quietness and relaxation and can therefore relieve stress.

It can be especially beneficial to those who have a difficult time with concentrative meditation, as colouring is a gentle activity that blocks out intrusive thoughts as you are focused on choosing colours and immersed in the repetitive action of colouring. It also stimulates brain areas related to motor skills and creativity.


Colouring can also promote wellness in that it brings out our imagination and takes us back to our childhood, a time when mostly we had less stress.

The Pleasure of Making and Sense of Accomplishment

As knitters, writers, woodworkers and other creative types know, there is immense pleasure to be had from making something with your hands that is new and unique. Also, because a lot of the pictures are quite intricate, you can invest some hours into each individual picture so that you get that real sense of achievement and satisfaction when you finish one. With the beautiful pictures and patterns available, you can end up with a new masterpiece for your wall or fridge.

Bonding for Parents and Kids

If you have children, then sit down with them and spend some quality time colouring together. While they’re colouring fairies or superheroes, you can colour gardens or patterns. You can even buy books designed for this, where one side of the page is an image for the parent to colour and on the other side is a simplified version of the image for the child to colour (spotted one at Target recently). It’s a great activity to do together without distractions.

Where to Source

There seems to be a colouring in book for all different interests. You can see some of the more popular books here. There are also many printable pictures available online if you don’t want to purchase a book.

If you want to get right into it, there are also Facebook groups you can join that have colouring tips and where to find the best books or art materials.

What’s your favourite adult colouring book?

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