Art & design journal

What I love about colouring & can there be any benefits in colouring for adults?4 min read

Did you know what your brain experiences relief when it enters a meditative state – such as when colouring? This allows for the stress and anxiety to fade into the background.

You’re also expelling negative thoughts by taking action which gives you a hit of dopamine!

It has everything to do with refocusing your attention. And colouring requires a modest amount of attention being focused outside of your self-awareness. It’s a simple activity that takes you outside of yourself in the same way as crocheting, cutting the lawn or sorting Legos by colour does.

What makes colouring resemble a meditative practice is that it takes your attention away from you and the things that are stressing you out, and anchors you in the present moment.

And focusing on a simple activity relaxes your fear centre, the amygdala.

Colouring induces the same state as meditating by reducing the thoughts of a restless mind. This generates mindfulness and quietness, which allows your mind to get some rest.

The struggles of life evaporate from your awareness as you’re not disturbed by your own thoughts and appraisals. And both your brain and your body finds this extremely rewarding.

Colouring requires you to focus, but not so much that it’s stressful. It opens up your frontal lobe, which controls organising and problem-solving, and allows you to put everything else aside and simply live in the moment – which generates focus.

And because it’s such a low stakes activity, it feels nice. There’s nothing riding on you getting this right. If you make a mistake, so what?

So, go ahead and colour outside the lines if you feel like it!

The outcome of your effort isn’t predictable and doesn’t have to live up to any standards. It can be exactly as neat or as messy as you choose – that’s the simple beauty of it.

It’s hard to screw it up – and even if you do, there are no consequences.

Colouring should be seen as the wonderful escape that it is, rather than a demanding test of your capabilities. And it even goes beyond just being fun as it improves our motor skills and vision!

Colouring actually requires the two hemispheres of your brain to communicate – using logic allows you to stay inside the lines and choosing colours generates your creative thought process.

It’ll also give you a better night’s sleep.

Swapping out electronics, with their sleep hormone reducing blue light, for colouring is a great tech-free bedtime ritual that won’t mess up your melatonin levels.

So, to recap, the benefits of colouring are:

  • Your brain experiences relief by entering a meditative state when colouring
  • Stress and anxiety simply fade into the background
  • Negative thoughts are expelled as you take action and receive the positivity (and dopamine!)
  • Focusing on the present moment helps you to centre and achieve mindfulness
  • Promote creativity over consumption as you put down all the technology in favour of a simple pen, pencil or brush
  • Colouring is for everyone who wants to be creative! Not just children or artists – no skills required to simply enjoy yourself
  • It’s the perfect way to wind down after a busy day – c’mon, grab a glass of something a little extra and lean into the colouring, you know you want to!

Our modern culture is very stress-inducing and I think colouring is a great way to restore your feeling of well-being and reduce the toll that your stressful life takes on your health.

Get colouring pages you’ll love!

You can get printable colouring pages (just like these👇) from my shop.

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