As I have previously discussed in my post Taking Time Out When You’re Super Busy, to get through a busy day I need to take regular rest breaks. One of the activities I like to do while resting is colouring. There is a boom at the moment for adult colouring books and everyone who is anyone is reaching for the colouring pencils and a stress busting colouring book.
Colouring in a beautiful picture really is a therapeutic exercise. It helps me to concentrate on a simple activity, rather than worrying about what I feel I should be doing instead of resting. It gives me an escape from the pain and allows me to focus my thoughts and feelings. Colouring has been proven to reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety [Source: Medical Daily] and I can verify this really is a benefit to me.
Colouring is especially useful to me when I am having a particularly foggy day; when my thoughts are hard to pin down and I struggle to get out my words or form sensible sentences. Having to choose a picture from the book, select colours to complete the picture and concentrating on keeping within the lines is incredibly useful for focusing on the present moment and eliminating negative thinking.
Although the latest craze seems to have started over the last year or so, I have actually coloured for much longer than this. For the last 6 years, we have taken children’s colouring books on holiday with us and sat around on a wet evening in the caravan colouring in together. It’s something we all enjoy and is now something I do all of the time and not just on holiday!
Currently, I am colouring Johanna Basford’s Secret Garden which she calls “An Inky Treasure Hunt and Colouring Book”. The great thing about this book the inclusion of not just beautiful images, but hidden elements to discover and space to add your own drawings. It’s a stunning book.
Prior to this, I was colouring Emma Farron’s Mindfulness Colouring Book, Anti-Stress Art Therapy for Busy People. This was really lovely and was the perfect size to fit into my handbag so I could colour on the train or while sitting in a cafe.
I prefer to colour in pencil than in felt tip because it makes the process take longer and requires more effort somehow. I recently upgraded my pencils to a Johanna Basford special edition set from Staedtler. They are lovely to colour with, soft but strong and the box is illustrated with images from Johanna’s book Lost Ocean.
Have you tried colouring books? Do you find it helps to relax and focus your mind? What book are you currently colouring?