Head over to Amazon and type adult colouring book into the search box. At the time of writing this post, the first result has 1500 reviews and the third has over 3000. Those are pretty big numbers by any standard. So why the sudden surge of interest in a hobby that was until recently the sole domain of children?
Well, in a recent article, Katie of Wellness Mama outlined some of the health-promoting benefits responsible for encouraging adults to buy these books by the bucket-load. And one of the fascinating things is that researchers have been studying the effects of colouring books for far longer than you might think – Carl Jung even used to recommend them to his patients!
So what are these benefits? Stress-relief is one of the most important. Research has shown that colouring geometric patterns for just a few minutes can have an anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) effect. There is actually a branch of therapy – called, you guessed it, “colouring therapy” – that is used to help people deal with stress-related problems.
Focus and creativity are also positively affected. Just a short session can increase an individual’s creative abilities for hours afterwards. Some companies are even having group sessions – the social element is another added benefit – where there employees are allowed to take time out just to colour.
Another interesting point is that researchers have found a great deal of continuity between the effects of colouring and the effects of meditation. Many of the benefits of regular meditative practice may have a crossover. Buddhist monks, for instance, are well-known for spending hours creating their colourful mandalas.
If you’re considering giving it a go, there’s a whole range of books to choose from with an equally diverse range of patterns. Everything from mandalas to flowers to ancient religious iconography are offered as templates. Surely worth a try?
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