Mind Yo'self: 7 Reasons Why You Need To Get In On The Colouring Book Craze

Sunday sorted...


Remember those days when we got out our colouring books and spent hours filling in pictures and patterns ‘til our hearts content?

Well actually, those days are very much back. Colouring books have become increasingly popular among adults in the past few years, frequently topping best-seller lists. And here's why.

1. It facilitates mindfulness

This word gets thrown around a lot and for good reason. Focussing on colouring brings you solely into the present and you’re not thinking about anything else beyond what shape to shade in first.

“It’s a good form of mindfulness as it brings you into the moment," says Anne-Marie Collins, an Art Psychotherapist and member of IACAT, The Irish Association of Creative Arts Therapists

"While it’s not going to solve anxiety, it will help to relieve it and also regulate your moods. Your senses are engaged, you’re doing something physical and the rhythm itself can be very calming.” 

2. The sheer nostalgia of it all

While adult colouring books are more detailed then children’s colouring books, using them brings you back to your childhood and reminds you of the days where life was all about the fun.

3. It helps you get creative

This might seem glaringly obvious but think about it. How creative are most of us on a daily basis?

Filling in the intricate shapes and frames featured in such books not only brings you into a quieter space, it fuels your creative thinking and can lead to other creative activities.

“You decide on nicer things to do for yourself," says Anne-Marie. "For instance, people might say they’ll give painting a go. Colouring in allows us to think a little more creatively and make more creative decisions about what to do with our time.”

4. It lightens the load of every-day life

As adults, we’re constantly bombarded with worrying information like job-cuts and increasing rents and continually faced with demands and uncertainty. Life runs at such an incessant speed, it’s nice to slow down and smell the crayons once in a while.

Colouring can drown out all that noise while creating a little buzz of its own.

5. You’ll sleep better

How many of us are WhatsApping, watching Netflix or looking at social media before bed-time? Looking at screens in the evening can disturb your sleep pattern and contribute to insomnia – both for physiological and psychological reasons.

Even if you don’t bother with any electronic devices before you hit the hay, you could be tossing and turning, thinking about a mistake you made in work or reliving that embarrassing thing you did back in 2011.

Using colouring books in the evening will help you relax and get a good night’s sleep.

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6. It’s a simple task

Colouring is a calming activity that is stimulating without being overly challenging. Everything is framed and laid out and just ready to be filled in.

“It’s not strenuous," says Anne-Marie. "It’s not like facing a blank page which can be intimidating and anxiety-provoking in its own way. All you have to do is decide on the colours and shading.”

7. And probably the most important reason of all – it’s fun

The adult world can often be about ‘the next thing.’ Working towards that job promotion; saving for the house; taking a new class to further your education.

Colouring is not goal-orientated; there are no rewards if you fill in all the frames; there’s no downside if you don’t stay within the lines. It’s done for the sheer pleasure of it.

According to Anne-Marie: “As adults we don’t know how to play anymore."

"Everything is so structured and our lives are usually filled with so much work and activity that when we come home, we don’t know what to do with ourselves. People find it difficult relaxing. Colouring is a nice bridge into a different space.”

Written By

Niamh Burke