So colouring in has got a lot of press recently. Who used to love colouring in when they were little? I know I did!
I have always loved everything arts and crafts and still do. As far back as I can remember I would spend hours drawing, painting and colouring in. My real hardcore fascination with colouring in started when I was about 13 and my older sister bought me a huge detailed poster of hot air balloons for colouring in.
I would spend hours colouring in the intricate design and sometimes my sister and other members of the family would join in (under my close supervision of course to make sure they were staying within the lines ). I think I still have the finished poster somewhere and believe it or not a few of the felt pens that came with it, and they’re still working! They don’t make things like they used to.
I still love to engage in creative activities, it’s my mediation. It’s time when I can put everything else to one side momentarily, including the phone, and just get absorbed in what I’m doing in that moment. For me creative activities are drawing, painting, jewellery making, embroidery, knitting, crochet and cooking. But even these need some brain power. Colouring in, however, is truly hypnotic, no thinking required.
Research has shown that engaging in creative activity can reduce stress and anxiety, improve wellbeing by decreasing negative emotions, can help to reduce depression,
In 2010, the American Journal of Public Health published a review titled, The Connection Between Art, Healing, and Public Health. You can read it here.
In this modern age we’re constantly on the go, and even when we stop we have our face firmly planted in some kind of gadget or we’ve got the stresses and problems of the day whirring away in our head. When colouring in you’re just focusing on what you’re doing so it’s an outlet rather than focusing on information coming in. It is imperative to our health and wellbeing that we take some time to TRULY unwind and relax and getting in touch with our inner kid is definitely a great way of doing just that.
It’s not only mental health that is positively impacted by creativity. Science now recognises the power of the mind-body reaction and the physical effects of stress.
Helping people to engage with their creativity is precisely why I developed my RelaxArt™ workshops. To give adults a space where they can tap into their right brain which is often so underutilised, de-stress and relax. I was also just the other day thinking of putting together a colouring book for grown ups (watch this space), so I was really please when the benefits of activities like colouring in where highlighted in the media.
So go on, dig out those colour pencils and get going. Don’t worry, you don’t have to stay in the lines, I’m not watching.
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