Stress-related mental health problems have been increasing significantly in the last decade. Researchers believe that one of the principal reasons behind this is social media becoming a major part of our daily lives. Many people feel not useful enough, not fun enough, or even unworthy because other people’s lives are seemingly fuller and more perfect on social media, even though it’s been proven to us many times that the grass isn’t really greener on the other side.
But social media isn’t the only issue. Due to internet accessibility, we are flooded with news like never before, and most of those negative. This year, with the lockdowns, and with the constant following of the Covid-19 cases, even more so, and we are yet to learn the effects this difficult year has made on each and every one of us.
Understandably, with the constant growth of mental health problems, scientists and laics alike have been discovering and rediscovering methods for alleviating them. If you think about it, words like stress and anxiety, as well as frasses like “stress relief” and “dealing with anxiety” or something along those lines, are omnipresent on all media, as well as in everyday interaction.
Some people find their own ways to deal with everyday problems, others make extended researches for it. Some of those that find solutions, decide to share their own experiences and methods with other fellow stressed-out humans on the internet.
Most of us have always known that colouring is entertaining. It’s been our favourite pastime as kids, and our kids’ favourite pastime as well. So, why shouldn’t we enjoy it as adults too? Adults colouring books have become a worldwide trend in the last years since we realised that they offer more than just good fun. People have been attesting to adult coloring books having helped them in stress-related problems in different situations.
What Can Colouring Do for You?
Colouring books for grown-ups are not as simple as the ones you would buy for your child. There are colouring books inspired by different cultures, famous artists, flowers, fashion and even spiritual movements. It’s a form of art, and art is therapeutic and fun. But this is just the beginning of why you shouldn’t hesitate to buy adult coloring books.
- Colour for Quiet
The simplest way to think about how colouring helps us psychologically is looking at it as an activity that keeps us focused on the task at hand, giving our mind no space to wander off in our endless real and unreal concerns. In other words, it gives us an escape, a break from our issues.
The claims of many people that colouring makes them relaxed and quiets down their worries are being confirmed by scientists. Psychologists say that as a result of the relaxation the act of colouring provides you, the activity in the amygdala (the part of your brain responsible for your reactions to different emotions), lowers.
This gives your mind the necessary quiet it needs to rest. The stress-free focus it takes to colour and the response of your body to it makes you mindful. This makes colouring a form of meditation since like meditation, it clears your mind from thoughts and helps it stay present in the moment.
- Colour for Attentiveness
By freeing your minds from negative thoughts and giving you a break from the noise, colouring will help you become more focused and attentive. Colouring before having to do something demanding, for example, may give you the concentration needed for that task. People will sometimes even use colouring as a way to help them listen more attentively. During lessons, many students will find themselves drawing or colouring while listening to their teachers. The activity allows them to focus better on the lesson.
- Colour for Happiness
Even though it might be fun, and it refers to a person’s nonconformity and individuality, with adult colouring books, it seems, colouring outside the lines might not be as stress-relieving, as aware, careful meticulous colouring. According to studies, the more complex shapes a person colours (like for instance, mandalas), the more concentration is needed, which in turn reduces their anxiety significantly, by putting them in a meditative state.
This, of course, doesn’t mean you should take “colouring inside the lines”, or colouring in itself for that matter, seriously. Colouring is above all about pleasure and fun. It’s easy, it can be done anywhere, and anytime. It’s not your duty, there is no deadline, it’s not something you have to finish, or you have to do in some specific or perfect way. It’s also not about someone’s artistic talents or precision.
When we colour, we choose the colours that we find most pleasant. There have been many studies about how different colours affect our thinking, our mood and our overall well-being. This, coupled with how colouring is an activity that reminds us of our carefree childhood, gives us a rare opportunity to nurture our inner child and distance us from negative thoughts.
- Colour for Sweet Dreams
With all this stress we’ve been mentioning, falling asleep can feel like a tiresome task to fulfil. Among all other recommendations, the most common one doctors give to help sleep-deprived people is to find a way to de-stress. So, another thing adult coloring books can give you is a good night’s sleep.
One more proven cause of being unable to fall asleep is extended screen-time, and especially using electronics before going to bed. So, instead, you can make it a routine to colour at night. Playing a game, watching a youtube video, or looking at people’s photos on their social media, provides pleasure. But colouring, besides pleasure, will calm down your mind, giving way to some sweet, sweet dreams.
With all this, it’s not a surprise that in the last couple of years, colouring books for adults have been listed amongst the biggest bestsellers. They’re a great hobby for anyone, which also makes them a great gift. Colouring is quite easy. Most of us have already done it and loved it. And not only doesn’t it require any special skills or conditions, but also you can take your colouring equipment with you anywhere.