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Sunday, December 3, 2023
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Colour me zen

Surprising magic of adult colouring books in times of stress

Chilling out and finding some zen time? It’s more important now than ever. And you know what’s surprisingly awesome for that? Adult colouring. It’s like the chill pill of stress-busting techniques.

What might seem like a childhood pastime has evolved into a therapeutic and artistic outlet for grown-ups.

Numerous studies online delve into the fascinating benefits of picking up those colouring pencils and immersing oneself in the world of adult colouring books.

So, adult colouring is basically grabbing those colouring books made just for grown-ups and jumping into some seriously intricate designs.


We’re talking way cooler and more detailed than the kiddie colouring books from back in the day.

You’ve got everything from trippy mandalas and abstract patterns to chill nature scenes and cute animals. It’s like a colouring party for your brain with all these fancy pictures to fill in!

I’m pretty sure many millennials and Gen Z’s – especially the women – would remember the whole adult colouring book craze that kicked off around 2012 and 2013. It did, however, really blow up in 2015 when Johanna Basford dropped two colouring books – Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest – in April of that year.

They skyrocketed to the top of the charts on Amazon, and also filled the shelves in our very own local bookstores.

It was like everyone had a stash of coloured pencils and intricate designs on standby. Fast forward to almost the end of 2023, I feel that it’d be quite interesting to revisit that trend to melt our stress away.


Chill mode: Colouring for zen

Adult colouring books – in my opinion anyway – are like stress superheroes.

A study in the Art Therapy journal spilled the beans on how folks who colour experience a major drop in cortisol levels – you know, that stress hormone we all want to ditch.

It’s like a one-way ticket to zen-ville. Colouring isn’t just about filling in the lines; it’s your shortcut to a chill, mindful vibe that sticks with you throughout the day. Unless, of course, trying to match colours stresses you out even more.


These books are like the ultimate canvas for letting your creativity run wild, no matter if you’re an art pro or a stick-figure kind of person.

According to a cool study by art therapist Girija Kaimal at Drexel University, diving into artistic activities, like colouring, actually amps up the connections in your brain and boosts your overall feel-good vibes.

Forget about crafting a masterpiece; it’s all about expressing yourself and unlocking those therapeutic vibes, letting your creative mojo flow.

I mean, it’s not like you have to draw anything from scratch, right?


Sharp mind, colourful focus

In our crazy, distracted world, adult colouring is like your secret weapon for locking in focus.

“How?” you ask? A study in the Frontiers in Psychology from Brussels, Belgium explained that colouring ramps up mindfulness, and it’s not just about prettying up pages, forcing you to dive deep into those intricate designs.

The coolest part? This isn’t just a quick fix. It’s like a brain boost that helps you tackle daily stress and amps up your cognitive game over time, supercharging your concentration and mental clarity.

What’s even more profound is that taking up this hobby won’t just create relaxation, it’s like a magic potion for better sleep and a happier mind, according to a study by the brainiacs at the University of Otago in New Zealand anyway.

Turns out, taking a nose dive into creative stuff before hitting the hay – ahem, colouring – brings on the ZZZs big time.

The rhythmic, (again) zen-like vibe of colouring? It’s basically a bedtime lullaby for anyone wrestling with sleep problems or a bout of anxiety.

So, swap out that phone for some colouring action, and let the sweet dreams roll in!


Where’s the colouring crew?

Okay, so, adult colouring has become this awesome online party! Check it out – on places like Instagram and Facebook, there are these buzzing communities of colouring enthusiasts.

People are throwing around their masterpieces, trading tricks, and just vibing over their love for colouring.

It’s not just about the art; it’s like joining this cool club where you’re swapping ideas and making pals. It’s more than just colouring; it’s finding your tribe and feeling that awesome sense of belonging and camaraderie.

With that being said, adult colouring? Not just a fun time. They’re your personal Zen zone, so grab those colour pencils and get to colouring! – Izah Azahari


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