At first it felt strange, almost like reliving my childhood hobby back in the day, when the most exciting thing that could possibly happen was when Mom bought me a new colouring in book, and that box of crayons with the added silver and gold colours in it.
It does feel a bit strange when you first start out, but once you get going, you will wonder why you made such a deal out of it. I have to say that it's one of the best therapies that I have experienced and I'm so glad I got into it.
The whole thing of colouring in and trying to keep the colour within the outlines of the picture requires more concentration than what you would think, and I also think that it has 'recaptured' the artist within me, as I loved art at school.
I just used to buy ordinary children's colouring books, but I have recently seen that a range of adult colouring books have been selling really well. In my opinion, these adult versions differ from children's versions in the fact that they are very detailed with lots of small area's and spaces to colour in, and many nooks and cranies as well. I quite enjoy this as it requires me to focus more.
Here are 4 reasons why I love colouring in for anxiety relief:
- It releases the inner child. Since colouring in is seen as a children's activity, and I think it's pretty safe to say that we all had a colouring book as children, it releases that child like quality within us. Most adults are so caught up in the rat race of work that they forget that there is an inner child inside of them just needing some nurturing, and colouring in is a great way to do it.
- It uses colour. Colour therapy has been used to lift the mood on walls and in homes, and it is well known that certain colours can also either increase or decrease a person's mood. Calming colours are more lighter such as baby blue and lavender, whereas more stimulating colours are darker shades. For me though, colour makes me happy and lifts my mood, and seeing my finished picture in all different colours helps me achieve a happier mood.
- Improved concentration. I am still in awe at how colouring in helps me to concentrate and focus. I seem to get so involved in making the picture look pretty and colourful that the world around me just diminishes into nothing...and that includes all my worries.....well, isn't that kind of the point? ;)
- Love of art. Being an art student at school, I actually lost all interest in my art once anxiety took over my life, but colouring in has really sparked up my hobby of drawing and painting. Hmmm....should I start saving for that easel?? ;)
So all I can say, is I regret not having started this amazing therapeutic activity sooner.
Give it a go. It's cheap, it's fun, it's easy....and hey, it just might be the reason that you cope that much better tomorrow!