Having an artsy outlet is a simple and effective way to relax and unwind. One method that has taken the wellness world by storm is the use of adult colouring books. As surprising as it may seem, these childhood staples have found a renewed purpose in promoting relaxation and mindfulness in adults. It’s the use of colours – with the flow of crayons, pencil colours help you be in the moment and develop a sense of relaxation.

Definition and Brief History of Adult Colouring Books

Adult colouring books are no different from the ones we used as children, save for the intricacy of their designs. These books often feature intricate patterns, mandalas, animals, and landscapes that require a keen eye and calm mind to complete. In recent years, adult colouring books have grown immensely in popularity, beginning with the release of Secret Garden by Johanna Basford in 2013. Since then, these colouring books have served as a welcome escape for many adults seeking creative outlets to eliminate stress.

Overview of the Therapeutic Benefits

The therapeutic benefits of adult colouring books are vast and research-backed. Here are a few:

Stress relief: Adult colouring books provide an outlet for people to express themselves and escape from daily life pressures.

Mindfulness and relaxation: Focusing on colouring can help quiet the mind, creating a sense of calm, and promoting mindfulness.

Improve motor skills and vision: Coloring intricate designs can lead to improved focus, fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

Understanding Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment. This concept implies calmly acknowledging and accepting your feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. Typically used as a therapeutic technique, mindfulness can help us live in the moment, manage our emotions better, and reduce stress and anxiety.

How Coloring Promotes Mindfulness

Now you might be wondering, ‘How do colouring books fit into mindfulness?’ As we colour, we create a perfect blend of focus and imagination that leads to mindfulness. The repetitive and rhythmic nature of colouring can create a sense of calm and focus, helping us tune out other distractions.

Colouring demands focus – Adult colouring books in particular, with complex patterns like those in a mandala colouring book, require concentration that directs your focus away from your worries and onto the present moment.

Colouring harnesses creativity – With each colour choice and stroke, you tap into your creativity, allowing you to be in the moment and let your worries fade away.

Research on the Connection Between Coloring and Mindfulness

Significant research supports the idea that colouring can lead to mindfulness. One study found that participants reported feeling more relaxed and focused after spending time colouring. They described a significant decrease in anxiety and an increased sense of mindfulness. In essence, the repetitive action of colouring allows you to let everything else fade away, supporting a mindfulness state. So, get your adult colouring book, and coloured pencils, and start colouring your stress away.

Relaxation Techniques

Relaxation goes beyond simply setting aside time to rest. It involves actively focusing on calmness and can be accomplished in various ways such as through meditation, progressive muscle relaxation or deep breathing.

Relaxation techniques are designed to help individuals release tension, relax their bodies, and calm their minds, thereby decreasing the impact of stress on their physical and mental health. Techniques vary from simple breathing exercises to more complex methods like progressive muscle relaxation and visualization. Another increasingly popular technique? Colouring! Yes, you read that right. The act of colouring, once considered only for kids, has been discovered to provide relaxation benefits for adults too.

How Coloring Promotes Relaxation

Granting your mind an outlet to relax can be a tricky endeavour. However, the act of colouring helps to create a relaxing mindset. How? Colouring allows us to focus on the present moment, blocking out intrusive thoughts and providing a calming distraction.

Focusing on colours and patterns: Concentrating on choosing and applying colours can help
remove our focus from worries and stresses.

Creating a rhythm: The repetitive motion of colouring can create a rhythm similar to

Engaging the senses: The tactile engagement and visual stimulation involved in colouring
can offer a soothing and therapeutic experience.

Research on the Connection Between Coloring and Relaxation

A study published in the Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, found that coloring mandalas or geometric patterns helps reduce anxiety. This is because it allows the brain to relax while the individual focuses on colouring inside the lines, providing a similar effect to meditating.

Additionally, focusing on simpler tasks such as coloring, allows the amygdala, the part of the brain associated with stress and anxiety, to rest, promoting overall relaxation. So next time you’re feeling stressed, pull out an adult colouring book, grab your coloured pencils or markers, and colour your way to calm down!

Stress Relief

What makes the wave of adult colouring books so fascinating is their potential inculcation of stress relief. With the increasing responsibilities and stressors in our day-to-day lives, mental peace is often neglected. Here, we dive into the relief experienced through the fun art of colouring.

There is an intriguing relationship between colouring, stress, and anxiety. When we involve ourselves in activities like colouring, our brains enter a meditative state. This state aids in excluding obstructive thoughts, reducing your level of anxiety.

Therapists suggest that colouring in patterns, especially mandalas or geometric patterns,
fosters focus and relaxes the mind.

Psychology experts say that colouring offers a break from anxiety-producing thoughts,
grounding your mind.

How colouring books can help alleviate stress and anxiety

So how exactly can the simple act of filling in colors provide stress relief? Colouring permits us to switch off our brains from other thoughts and concentrate only on the moment, similar to meditation. Colouring intricate patterns and designs requires a certain level of concentration that can help distract from stressful thoughts.

The structure and boundaries provided by colouring books can create a safe space, offering
respite from anxiety.

Plus, the end product, a beautifully shaded image, rekindles a sense of accomplishment,
further relieving stress.

Improved Focus and Concentration

Colouring in adult colouring books requires a certain level of concentration and focus. This is partly because the designs, particularly those in mandala colouring books, can be quite intricate. But don’t worry – this complexity is what allows your mind to focus on the task at hand, temporarily forgetting about your troubles. The act of selecting colours, and filling in spaces demands your undivided attention, essentially exercising your focus and concentration abilities. This leads to:- A quieter mind, as you’re not worrying about other things leading to increased ability to concentrate on other tasks, due to the practice you get from colouring.

Enhanced Creativity

Colouring books for adults also stimulates our creative muscles. They contain myriad designs and patterns, each allowing for a unique colouring experience. This freedom in choosing colour combinations, blending techniques, and which sections to colour first, allows expressing creativity. The act of colouring:

Enhances creative thinking and problem-solving skills.

Releases the inner artist who may have been suppressed under daily routines.

Boosted Mood and Emotional Well-being

Colouring can have profound impacts on your mood. The relaxation and tranquillity we get from this activity release mood-enhancing endorphins in the brain. As you colour, and see your black-and-white page transform into a beautiful, vibrant piece, you will derive satisfaction, boosting your overall mood and emotional well-being. This is particularly beneficial for those dealing with stress or anxiety. Colouring provides an escape from these feelings, resulting in:

Reduced anxiety and stress levels, through the calming effect of colouring.

Enhanced mood, through the satisfaction of creating something beautiful.
So, grab those coloured pencils, find a comfy corner, and embark on your colouring journey

Tips and Techniques for Coloring

Every colouring journey has to start with the right book and tools, and knowing how to use them to your advantage. So, let’s dive into these essential parts of adult colouring.

Finding the perfect colouring book that suits your style and mood is essential. From intricate mandala patterns to tranquil landscapes, adult colouring books cover a wide variety of subjects. Choose a book that you connect with, that sparks joy and piques your interest. As for colouring tools, it’s usually a personal choice between coloured pencils, fine liners, or markers. Experiment to find which one works best for you in terms of control, vibrancy, and comfort. Remember, there are no rules or judgments in this creative pursuit.

Choose a book with designs that ignite your interest

Experiment with different colouring tools like coloured pencils, fine liners, or markers

Comfort is as important as control and vibrancy

Colouring Techniques to Enhance the Therapeutic Experience

Remember during preschool when we were taught to colour within the lines? Well, that rule need not apply here. The point is to relax and have fun. One of the most popular techniques is layering colours. It can create a beautiful, rich depth to your pictures and bring them to life.

Another is to follow a thematic colouring system, choosing a particular colour scheme that aligns with your mood or the picture’s theme. You can also explore techniques like layering colours or following a thematic colour system.

Suggestions for Creating a Relaxing Coloring Environment

Sitting down to colour can be even more rewarding when your surroundings help augment the tranquillity. Choose a quiet, comfortable space with good lighting. Play some soft background music if that helps you relax. Sipping on a hot cup of herbal tea could also enhance your colouring experience, making it an overall sensory delight.

Choose a calm, well-lit space

Background music and a cup of hot herbal tea can increase relaxation

Personal stories on stress relief through colouring

Many people have shared their personal experiences and testimonials about how adult
colouring books have helped them manage stress better. From busy corporate people to stay-
at-home parents, the stories are endless on the therapeutic impact colouring has made in
their lives.

For instance, Jane, an accountant, said, “Coloring helps me calm my mind after a chaotic
day. It’s a relaxation technique I can count on.”

Mike, a retired veteran, mentioned, “Coloring has helped me manage my PTSD symptoms.
It’s my form of therapy.”
Adult colouring books can significantly help us reclaim our inner peace amidst the hustle of
life. As the saying goes, you’re never too old to colour your life!


As we’ve explored throughout this blog, adult colouring books offer a multitude of therapeutic benefits. Here’s a quick roundup in bullet points.- Adult colouring books promote mindfulness and bring a sense of calm and peace.

They act as a channel for self-expression and creativity.

These books are scientifically proven to reduce stress and anxiety.

They also improve focus and concentration, acting as a mental escape from distressing

The act of coloring intricate designs like in a mandala coloring book can be highly
satisfying and therapeutic.

You don’t need to be an artist to enjoy it; all you need is a colouring book, some coloured pencils, and a desire to relax. This simple practice has profound effects on our mental state, promoting relaxation, mindfulness, and stress relief.

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