Can colouring books for adults really help with stress?


Adult colouring books are a big trend right now. It turns out there are some health and psychological benefits to colouring, a fact that children may instinctively know. I think it’s got to be worth a go!

Here are five reasons why, maybe, you should give it a try too.

1. Helps you to de-stress

One of the earliest scientists to have studied the therapeutic benefits of colouring pages for adults was Carl Jung. He studied coloring of Mandalas as early as the first half of the 20th century. He often used Mandalas (which have concentric circles and geometrical patterns in them) for his patients and found that it helped them become calmer and witness lesser stress.

2. Activates both parts of the cerebral hemisphere

According to psychologist Gloria Martinez Ayala, the action of colouring involves both logic and creativity. When we use logic to pick up a colour for a particular shape or pattern, we activate the analytical part of the brain. On the other hand, when we choose to mix and match colors, we activate the creative side of the brain. This helps incorporate both areas of the cerebral cortex which control vision and help with coordination and fine motor skills.

3. Takes you back to childhood

When an adult colours, s/he is transported back to the stress free days of childhood. Getting back those happy memories helps one relax and even feel optimistic and energetic for the future.

4. Colouring is like meditation

Meditation is the art of doing nothing. It is also the art of ‘de-concentrating’ which helps relax and reduce the chatter of a restless mind. While most people find it difficult to meditate, colouring pages and books for adults easily help induce the same meditative state. It is no wonder that many publishers in UK, France and USA have come up with coloring books just for adults. Colouring Mandalas are especially relaxing since colouring of the round and round patterns and concentric circles of these ancient designs relax the mind and make a person more mindful. It also keeps him/her focused on the present moment-just like meditation!

5. Helps reduce anxiety

Anxiety is a common mental condition affecting hundreds of adults. Anxiety and panic attacks cause many symptoms including: thoughts of death or dying, excessive worry, nausea, headaches, chills, fever, insomnia, etc. By using colouring pages for adults, therapists help their adult patients relax. The artistic expression helps patients go deeper into a relaxed state making other forms of therapy more effective. Research has now proven that colouring pages and books for adults can be used as prelude to regular or conventional therapy for many mental disorders.