Are adult colouring books the ultimate stress reliever?

I have a new hobby that I want to share with you, but first you have to promise not to laugh.

You see, my latest hobby is something you might more readily associate with toddlers. Yep, you guessed it, I love colouring in! Don’t knock it till you try it.

In my previous life as a stressed out lawyer, I would come home from work too tired to read but in need of something that would chill me out after a busy day. And while I admit a glass of wine and some trashy tv usually did the trick quite nicely, colouring in was certainly better for my health! And it was really, really fun.

It turns out, not only is colouring in fun, it’s good for you. It seems that colouring in and other mindfulness based art therapies may be beneficial for cancer patients (see also this study here), people with dementia, PTSD and children with behavioural difficulties. Colouring may also be a useful tool to combat depression, stress and anxiety.

And it’s not difficult to understand why. Colouring in is extremely relaxing and has an calming effect on the brain. It’s thought that colouring in achieves this by allowing people to focus and be ‘in the moment’ in a similar way to meditating. It also allows people to flex their creative muscles.

Most of us don’t really have much of a creative outlet these days. the great thing about colouring in is anyone can do it, even a toddler, so you really have no excuse. So, if you’re ready to give this colouring lark a go here is a selection of my favourite tried-and-tested colouring books and implements.

If you’ve already tried colouring, please leave a comment and let me know what you think of it.

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