Adult colouring books have become a bit of a fad in past while. Typically colouring has been seen as a children’s activity but nowadays adult colouring books can be found on bestsellers lists worldwide. It may come across as a fun trend but colouring books actually have therapeutic abilities. Colouring is a form of art therapy which researchers have found to have great health benefits for people coping with stress, illness. It helps people de-stress and can be used as a coping tool to manage different types of mental illness. When we colour we become focused which is often difficult to achieve during periods of distress or illness. Similar to meditation, our minds become relaxed and as we focus on the activity in that moment we are also practicing mindfulness.
Throughout the task we are concentrating on the different designs, ensuring we don’t colour outside of the lines, choosing what colour we want to use next. These thoughts can replace negative thoughts with pleasant ones. We also experience a feeling of satisfaction when we complete the picture. When we feel anxious, sad, stressed or ‘pissed off’ we can find it difficult to concentrate on tasks. Colouring can help you to regain focus even if it is just for a few minutes. Every little helps!
This is all well and good if we are good colourers and are not particular about going outside the lines. BUT if you are in any way a perfectionist or are feeling a bit down in the dumps, making a mistake may actually cause unnecessary anxiety and stress. I suppose it’s like everything, it will work for one person and won’t work for the next.
Mandalas are said to be the most effective design to colour for therapeutic purposes. These designs have existed since the beginning of time and are considered a sacred symbol. The mandala design is seen to have healing powers that promotes relaxation, balances the body’s energies, enhance your creativity, and support healing. The Tibetan monks believe the mandala represents a multi-dimensional field of consciousness and state of enlightenment. The native Americans also believe it symbolises sacred ceremonial space and the circle of life. Worldwide the mandala symbolises harmony, unity, wholeness and healing. It’s healing powers come from its design. It’s symmetrical form with repeated patterns and complexity draw individuals into a meditative state. I suppose it’s similar to hypnotism when they use those circle type things that move around and put people into a relaxed state?
So far I have bought three different types of adult colouring books. If there’s something new out to but I’ll buy it! My small collection consists of a magical Harry Potter one (very detailed not very therapeutic)(Easons, €14.60) Mindfulness through geometrics (really fun with loads of pretty designs)(Easons, €13.99) and a simple Mandala one (simple but effective)(Deals, €1.99).