Over the past year or so there’s been a new fun craze sweeping through schools, corporations, book stores and libraries – the adult colouring book! Taking a quick peek at Amazon’s bestselling books, you can see the list littered with different adult colouring books, even a Harry Potter themed one. Spreading from France to the US, UK, India, Australia, New Zealand and many more countries, this trend hasn’t just gained popularity through its nostalgic and youthful feel – the benefits of taking a short colouring break are grounded in science. Colouring has been considered a form of active meditation or mindfulness therapy, leading to relaxation and stress reduction. According to expert Mark Robert Waldman (as written in Psychologies), the theory is that focussing attention on the simple task of colouring occupies the hands and calms the mind. The repetitive motion focusses the brain on the present moment, replaces negative thoughts and creates a state of peace. Neuropsychologist, neuroscientist, and author of several adult colouring books, Dr Stan Rodski agrees; observing changes in people’s heart rate and brainwaves when colouring.
In Australia and India, many companies are utilising colouring books in the workplace to combat stress and improve mental health (and decrease sick days!). Colouring programs at libraries have been taking off too. They’re especially great to run as they require very little equipment or high level skills, so any one can get involved. Museums and libraries around the world have also been creating and sharing colouring pages made from beautiful images in their collections. View and colour them through the Twitter streams #colorourcollections and #colourourcollections.
Has your library been running any colouring programs, or have you tried out some colouring for yourself?
If not, download some free pages and give it a go!
– Michelle De Aizpurua, ILN Content Officer