The Benefits Of Colouring In

Shutterstock / ABO PHOTOGRAPHY © colouring

A few years ago, the world went wild for colouring in. There were adult colouring books lining supermarket and bookshop shelves.

It became acceptable to colour in at any age, whereas before it was something most left behind with childhood.

There were so many books to choose from – forest patterns, seaside imagery, scenes from popular books and films.

As well as being fun, it was said to also help reduce stress and anxiety.

Just a trend?

I’m wary of new trends – is it really as beneficial as it claims? – so I was late to it, as usual.

Although, in this case, studies had been done to back up the claims.

For example, a study published in the Creativity Research Journal in 2017. It found that participants (female university students) who were given daily colouring tasks for a week “showed significantly lower levels of depressive symptoms and anxiety” as compared to the control group.

A positive focus

I bought a colouring book during lockdown. I had some health issues going on and I needed something to take my mind off the news.

It definitely helped. The flow of negative and scary thoughts dimmed as I decided which colour to put where and how I wanted the overall mandala pattern on the page to look.

colouring in

Abbie Phillips.

Sometimes, that’s all you need – an activity to give your mind a positive focus.

I’m not a doctor, psychologist or scientist, so I’m no expert, but from my personal experience, it did help!

An oasis

It doesn’t have to be colouring in. It could be knitting, puzzles, jigsaws, sewing . . .

These days, with so much bad news, it can be difficult to stay positive.

Find something to give you joy and a safe space. Whatever brings you an oasis.

If you are experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety, please speak to your GP.

Abigail Phillips

Abbie is the newest member of the fiction team at the "Friend." She loves how varied the role is - every day is different and there is always a new story to read. She is keen to work closely with established writers and discover new writers, too.