Colouring books for adults. How many people have scoffed at the idea? How many have jumped at the chance to get back to something reminiscent of their younger years?
I never abandoned my colouring pencils. The activity always improves my mood. I didn’t actually recognize its ability to calm me until I discovered mandalas. I read about the meditative effect that colouring one in can have, and figured that connected to my love for colouring. You get to focus on doing something fun, quiet and creative. It’s a peaceful and relaxing pastime.
Why try it? You have nothing to lose.
Don’t go out and buy a book for $20. Print out a pattern from the Internet and use anything you have on hand to fill it in. Try and find a pattern that catches your eye and doesn’t look overwhelming. Crayons, markers, pencil crayons, pastels… You’ll be surprised how quickly you start searching for a particular colour.
The process becomes personal quickly. I often do it when I’m upset or stressed about a situation and have time to spare. Something about focusing on keeping the colours inside the line and which colour should be next is therapeutic.
Each one usually comes out differently. Different colours will appeal to you on different days and I am known to spend a little extra time completing the job because I want to see the finished product!
The pictures here aren’t my prettiest colouring endeavours. Looking back I start to wonder what I was thinking and that is exactly what you shouldn’t do. It isn’t a competition. It is counterproductive to worry about aesthetic appeal while doing something that is supposed to help you destress! So don’t judge (yourself or others).
Another thing I thought I should mention; if you colour outside the house, be prepared to share! Most people will find what you’re doing interesting and some will ask if they can try. A few want to know what the hype is about? Then there are those who finally see an opportunity to try something they’ve been meaning to do. Kids of course will want to take part. I had to rip a page out of my book once because I felt bad taking the little girl’s hard work away.
There’s a shade for every mood and moment. I don’t know if I go into a ‘meditative state’ when colouring. What I do know is that it can help bring me into a better frame of mind. That kind of positive effect is exactly why I think everyone should try it.
At the least you’ll have tested your, perhaps rusty, art skills. You might however, find a new way of combating stress, and we all know there’s no shortage of that in our lives today.
Thoughts? What do you do to destress?
P.S. Here’s a video of a mandala being coloured in. I wanted to do one myself but my schedule hasn’t allowed for it! I’m not endorsing any particular colouring book or company. This is just to give you an idea of the process. Also you don’t have to colour in mandalas. I’ve seen lots of others concepts such as mazes and even tattoos!