6 Remarkable Benefits of Colouring For Adults

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7 Remarkable Benefits of Colouring For Adults Title Graphic. In the background there are many different colours of pencil crayons sit on a white backdrop, arranged diagonally

Hello Sweet Friend:

Aching for stress relief? I feel ya! And I have a suggestion…

Why not try colouring?

It might sound too good to be true, but there are so many surprising benefits to colouring, including sweet, sweet stress relief.

And I promise, it’s not just for kids.

So get your pencil crayons nice and sharp and grab a cool adult colouring book, because today we’re going to dive into why colouring is a self-care activity you totally need to try. Let’s dive in, shall we…

Benefits of Colouring

1. Reduce Stress

A woman sits on her couch and colours. Beside her is a pencil holder full of pencil crayons and a big, leafy green plant. She is enjoying the relaxing benefits of colouring

Stressed out? Grab some pencil crayons and colour, baby! Because it just may be the gentle, relaxing activity you need.

According to Psychologist Gloria Martínez Ayala:

“The relaxation that [colouring] provides lowers the activity of the amygdala, a basic part of our brain involved in controlling emotion that is affected by stress.” (source)

Basically, you’re calming down the stressed out part of your brain and easing your mind. One page at a time.

Related: How To Reduce Stress – 6 Fantastic Tips From Psychiatrists

2. Boost Creativity

A semi coloured piece sits on a table, with another finished piece above it. At the bottom, someone holds markers. There is a bowl of blueberries, chocolate pieces and a cup of tea to the side.

Colouring provides you with a fun, creative release that has zero stakes. It doesn’t matter if you’re artistic or skilled. You can still colour and have fun. This is (unfortunately) a rare treat for adults.

There are even opportunities for a little rebellion. Want a purple sky? Go ahead! Green people? Do it! It’s your colouring book. One of the benefits of colouring is that you can do whatever you want. Adults need creative outlets too. So be a creative rebel! I promise, it’ll feel good to indulge your random, creative ideas.

Your brain agrees, since this activity activates the parts of your brain related to motor skills, senses and creativity. Colouring is awesome. (source)

And, since the images are already there, ready to be filled in with colour, you have a sort of scaffolding to work with. Which means that you can get creative without feeling intimidated or worrying about your skill level. It’s a fun, safe space, all ready for you!

Related: 4 Excellent Stress Relieving Activities To Try Right Now

3. Relax

A woman sits at a table with an open colouring book. She's holding onto a marker and looking up at the camera, smiling, enjoying the mood boosting benefits of colouring.

When you’re de-stressing, you’re often on your way to feeling more relaxed. But colouring’s ability to make you feel good goes so much further than that.

Most of us associate colouring with positive childhood memories. According to Janis Timm-Bottos, an Associate Professor of Creative Arts Therapy from Concordia University, activities that bring back positive childhood memories are a great way to relax because:

“It was a time when you didn’t have to do things in a certain way because you were playing.” (source)

Revisiting positive childhood experiences can help to make us feel pretty damn zen.

Someone colours away at an intricate mandala

And the nostalgia is powerful (we’ll talk about that in a minute).

Colouring also forces you to focus. It’s a gentle, repetitive activity that requires that you pay attention… which makes it harder for you to focus on your woes. And that too can make you feel calm and relaxed. Wonderful, right?! (source)

Add some good snacks and nice music and you have a relaxation evening in the making.

Related: The Wonderful Benefits and Importance of Rest

4. Meditate (Seriously)

Someone holds a marker and starts to colour and intricate mandala. Other markers sit waiting, beside the page.

So, this may sound weird, but hear me out… colouring can be a form of meditation! How’s that for an amazing benefit!? It certainly makes me want to stock up on adult colouring books.

But don’t just take my word for it. The lovely Janis Timm-Bottos says that colouring can even be a form of meditation because the repetitive rhythm of colouring calms and distracts the mind. And that creates the perfect opportunity to relax and simply exist in the present moment. It’s a pretty cool way to get your ohm on! (source)

Related: 5 Reasons Why You Need To Try Mindfulness Meditation

5. Sleep Better

A woman sits on her couch and colours. She's deeply concentrating. Beside her is a pencil holder full of pencil crayons and a big, leafy green plant. She is enjoying the relaxing benefits of colouring

Need help catching some serious Zzz? Try colouring before bed!

Not only is a great way to get away from electronics before bed (which can really mess with our sleep), you also know you’ll be de-stressing and relaxing and brings your mind to the present.

When it’s late and you’re trying to shut your brain off, relaxing, gentle activities that won’t disturb your melatonin levels can be a golden. Colour and wind down. (source)

Related: 7 Simple Self Care Tricks on How to Sleep Better

6. Enjoy Nostalgia

A family sits together and watched their son colour. If you coloured as a child, one of the benefits of colouring is that it brings up feelings of nostalgia.

One big reason to benefit from colouring as an adult if you loved it as a child is that nostalgia is pretty darn powerful.

Activities that create a sense of nostalgia also tend to make you feel like your life is more meaningful.

Existential Psychologist Dr. Clay Routledge says:

“Nostalgia serves a crucial existential function. It brings to mind cherished experiences that assure us we are valued people who have meaningful lives.” (source)

Indulging in nostalgia also makes us more generous. It increases our tolerance of others and even boosts our optimism. (source)

It’s good to indulge in things that bring on feel good memories. So colour away!

Final Thoughts

A line of pencil crayons sit at the top of a white backdrop, arranged horizontally.

There are tons of benefits of colouring that are wonderful for adults, so grab yourself a colouring book. The little ones shouldn’t be the only ones who get to enjoy fun, relaxing, creative activities, right?

Do you like to colour? What are your go-to relaxing self-care activities? Share your lovely thoughts with us in the comments below.

Health and love,

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Thought of the Day: Tap into activities that soothe you.

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Sara Flanagan is a wellness writer and the creator of www.mshealthesteem.com, where she shares her story of being diagnosed with Graves Disease, a chronic autoimmune disease, and empowering herself to do everything she can to thrive in spite of her diagnosis. She writes articles on self-love, acceptance, wellness and nutrition. Join the Health-Esteem Family today and share in the journey.

12 Comments

  1. Reply

    Ben

    November 20, 2020

    I love coloring. It’s a very soothing activity. When I color, all the stress of the day just melts away.

  2. Reply

    Angela

    November 20, 2020

    Thats so coloring or drawing they are kinda therapy for adults. Very good article thanks for sharing

  3. Reply

    Colleen Lanin

    November 20, 2020

    Coloring always helps me center my mind. The colors and filling in the lines center me and help me focus.

  4. Reply

    Surekha

    November 20, 2020

    I’ve been a big fan of coloring for along time. I did it when i was a kid, and I never lost my love of it. I always feel so much better in my mind after I’ve colored for a while.

  5. Reply

    Bill

    November 20, 2020

    I should really give coloring a try. I haven’t done it when I was a kid. My wife colors all the time, and she says it’s incredibly soothing.

  6. Reply

    Emily Fata

    November 21, 2020

    I absolutely love adult colouring books! Such a great way to decompress and do something creative.

  7. Reply

    Matt

    November 21, 2020

    That is so cool, I never really thought about those benefits before, but it makes sense. I don’t color per se, but I do have fun creating maps, and things form my D&D group.

  8. Reply

    AutumninAtlanta

    November 21, 2020

    What a creative way to get your mind to relax and focus. I need to order one of these to help reduce my stress and anxiety levels.

  9. Reply

    Warp Speed Odyssey

    November 22, 2020

    I absolutely agree with you coloring is a good way to relax and be in the present moment.

  10. Reply

    Angela Ricardo Bethea

    November 23, 2020

    Those are some wonderful tips to keep in mind and as someone who has done this, I totally agree with them. Coloring is quite a relaxing activity for me which helped with the stress a bit.

  11. Reply

    Elizabeth O

    November 24, 2020

    I think it’s terrific that adults have found their way back to a childhood favorite past time. I can relate to the benefits.

  12. Reply

    yudithnapitupulu

    November 24, 2020

    I love coloring. Coloring is quite a relaxing activity for me and make my mind mind relax and focus. But i just know that coloring can be a form of meditation.Thanks for sharing this through.

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