Unlike what we've been taught in the past, picking up a crayon isn't exclusively for kids. Colouring pages for adults are taking the world by storm, and this is actually a great thing. While some may scoff at the thought of reverting back to this childhood activity, science has found several reasons why colouring can make life a little bit better a page at a time.
#1: Colouring helps you focus.
We live in a fast-paced world where sometimes everything is a blur. It's hard to concentrate in the here and now when you are juggling so many balls in the air. Colouring, according to neuropsychologist Dr. Stan Rodski, enables us to switch off all the thoughts running through our heads and helps us focus on the present. In fact, his research has shown that it also affects us physically by lowering heart rate and making changes in brainwaves.
#2: Colouring reduces stress & anxiety.
Stress causes our bodies to initiate the "fight or flight" response which causes us to experience jumbled thoughts and emotions. Colouring is a great way to relax your mind and give it a break from the hustle and bustle of life. Brain scientists have found that the relaxation found in colouring actually lowers the level of activity in your amygdala - the part of the brain that is involved with emotions, motivation, and emotional behavior.
What does this mean? When your amygdala is stimulated, it causes you to feel intense emotion such as fear. Stress can cause this stimulation. Adult colouring, on the other hand, helps lessen the stimulation. In short, you feel calmer and more laid back while you are brightening up the artwork in your book.
According to some psychologists, colouring also tricks our brains into remembering a time when we weren't stressed to the max - our childhood. Some believe that it helps replace the negative imagery in our head with pleasant images. In fact, for some experts, colouring ranks right up there with meditation as one of the best relaxation techniques.
#3: Colouring can increase your productivity.
Yes, you read it right. Colouring can help you be more productive at work. A study published in the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology in 2014 found that individuals who engaged in creative activities after work were not only better able to recover from a demanding work environment, but were also able to perform at a higher level at work.
#4: Colouring can help you become more social.
Since colouring pages for adults became popular, a new social event has come to life - the colouring party. Once considered a solo activity, colouring has become another way for friends to connect, relax, and gossip while creating "works of art." The best part of it all is that no one feels pressured about not being good enough or artistic enough because there is never a wrong way to colour. Unlike some arts and crafts activities, you not only get to do something creative with friends and family, you also produce artwork that you aren't embarrassed to hang on your walls.
Because of its increasing popularity, colouring groups have also started popping up on Facebook and in local communities (i.e. libraries). With these groups, individuals are able to meet new people who have a similar hobby – people who they might never have met or gotten to enjoy spending time with had they not started colouring.
#5: Colouring helps get your creative juices flowing.
With so many things bogging us down, it’s hard to be creative at times. Research has shown that performing right-brain focused activities, such as music and art, helps tap your creativity and imagination (however deeply you think they are hidden). Even when you’re trying to stay inside the lines, colouring can help you think outside the box and come up with bright new ideas.
Now, if these reasons backed by science aren’t enough for you to start colouring, here’s one reason that might sway your mind. Colouring, as we discovered in our childhood, is fundamentally fun. There’s nothing better than looking at a vibrantly-coloured picture, knowing that it was your hand that made it bright and alive.