Are Colouring Books Crap?


You can’t enter a single bookshop, supermarket or newsagent without being bombarded by me. The piles of my perfect, geometric covers and blank white pages seem to follow you everywhere, screaming, “You need me - buy me!” What am I? I’m an adult colouring book.
Don’t be scared off by the name. On the surface it might sound like Playboy has teamed up with Crayola and created some obscene stencils that a child is going to eventually discover by accident, which will result in an awkward conversation about what they saw, closely followed by the ‘birds and the bees’ talk. Luckily, however, that is not what they are. And let’s pray such a thing doesn’t actually exist.
The reality of adult colouring books is that they’re much more savoury, and that’s not to mention that they’re actually beneficial for you in many ways.
Because no one wants to adult
First and foremost, these piles of paper give us the perfect excuse to stop trying to adult for an hour or two and release our inner child. After a day of running errands, sitting through lectures and coming home to find all your bills have arrived at once, it’s perfectly understandable to want to chuck in the responsibility towel for the day. Go out and spend a silly amount of money on a packet of pencils that are actually for professional artists, turn Netflix on, and colour until you can’t keep your eyes open anymore.
Say goodbye to stress
We all know that practising mindfulness and keeping our stress levels low is important for our health. We’re told exercising, meditating or doing yoga can help us with this, but who has the motivation, concentration or flexibility for any of that after six hours of back-to-back classes? Instead, when that final exam has left your brain fried and your anxiety levels shot, or that group assignment has destroyed the remaining pieces of your soul, close that laptop and reach for a pencil instead. Focus on the joy that being a kid again is giving you and how pretty all the colours are. Before long, your sanity will return. Honestly, some of the pictures and designs in these books are so detailed that you’ll be so busy figuring out which colour to put where, you’ll completely forget what you were even worried about before you started.
Science says yes
If you haven’t yet been convinced to go out and buy yourself one, maybe the fact that colouring books are being endorsed by the scientific community will spark your interest. Studies have shown that spending time colouring in, or what they call doing mindfulness-based art therapy (MBAT), helps to decrease the physical and emotional distress that can come when cancer sufferers begin to undergo treatment, which helps them in their journey to recovery.
Because why not?
Sure, when it comes down to it, they’re just colouring books. They’re something that kids normally play with, but to be honest, they’re just damn fun.

Originally appeared on Hijacked

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