Colouring has always been an extremely popular activity for young children. Aside from helping them to learn obvious skills such as fine motor skills, pencil grip and colour recognition, it is well documented that this soothing, relaxing and enjoyable activity can help to increase a child’s focus and attention span. It provides a sense of control, satisfaction of mastering and completing a task and can make it easier for them to talk to adults or peers about a difficult problem or situation.
So, it shouldn’t really come as a surprise, that adults are realising that colouring is a therapeutic, relaxing and calming activity for them too. A simple yet effective aid for managing stress and anxiety and improving focus and concentration.
There have been numerous studies into the positive effects colouring can have on our wellbeing. During one such study, participants were given either a daily logic puzzle or colouring activity for a week. An inventory of psychological measures e.g. depressive symptoms, stress, anxiety, flourishing, resilience, mindfulness was taken at both the start and end of the week and the results for each group reviewed. It concluded that: -
“Colouring participants showed significantly lower levels of depressive
symptoms and anxiety.” (1)
Colouring uses both the right and left sides of the brain and in particular the areas of the brain that help with problem solving, organisational skills and enhance focus and concentration.
Activities such as colouring, bring us back to a simpler time, when we had no real responsibilities and could just do something for pure enjoyment, simply because we wanted to.
Colouring is perfect for bringing more creativity into our lives and helping people practice mindfulness. Taking just one hour away from your stresses and worries can have an exceptionally recuperative effect. Plus, completing such a task with the company of others can magnify the experience and increase the energy and feeling of simply being in the moment.
The great thing about colouring, of course, is you can do it anytime, any place or anywhere. Whether you are new to colouring or are already a convert, why not set some time aside this weekend and flex your mindfulness muscle with a little creativity....and colour yourself calm.