Culture & Lifestyle / The Mindful Benefits Of Colouring For Adults

The Mindful Benefits Of Colouring For Adults

Culture & Lifestyle Mar 14, 2018

This activity isn’t just for kids anymore as research shows the mindful benefits of colouring for adults. 

In homes, family restaurants, schools and kids events around the world, there’s often children’s colouring books and crayons on-site. Why is coloring practiced so commonly on an international scale? Low in cost and light to carry it’s an artistic activity that helps improve motor skills while making children smile. In addition, colouring has what feels like a magic ability to capture a child’s attention, often giving care-givers a much needed moments break.

The benefits of colouring doesn’t decline with age yet somewhere along the journey into adulthood, most people move from crayons to pencil crayons eventually discarding both. That was until the huge adult colouring book craze took storm and the childhood favourite got marketed towards adults due to research on the positive impact on mental health.

In the United Kingdom, there was an increase of 300% in sales from 2013 to 2014, while the United States saw one of 11 million from 2014 to 2015 and a surge in Canada, the mandala is a popular design theme (rooted in Indian tradition), found in in coloring books around the world. The verdict was clear; adults were happy to bring back the childhood favourite for adults.

As is the case with all trends, the market seems to have cooled off, with sales declining in recent years. Encouraged by its mental health benefits and categorization as a mindful activity, we’re here to remind you that picking up a pencil crayon has several positive benefits:

It can lower stress and anxiety: its therapeutic movements can help put the brain in a relaxed, meditative state. It’s found to be so impactful, that it’s a form of treatment used in Art Therapy on patients working through PTSD and anxiety.


The Mindful Benefits Of Colouring For Adults
The Mindful Benefits Of Colouring For Adults: Colour when you can, there’s no pressure to finish! Photo Credit: Rachna Sethi


It doesn’t have to take long: Do you only have a moment of free time? No problem, make it a mindful moment by colouring a bit of an image every day and get the satisfaction of completing it overtime.

It may help in the treatment and possible the prevention of dementia: Every three seconds, someone develops dementia. A scary number and what may be scarier, is that one study in India suggested that 90% of patients with dementia remain undiagnosed. engaging the cerebral cortex which impacts fine motor skills and vision, it’s an activity that keeps your brain active. For patients with dementia, it can decrease frustration and agitation.

It’s an easy way to be artistic: With less set-up time required then painting on an easel (and leaving you with no mess to clean up), selecting colours, images and using different shading techniques make colouring a method of creative expression.


The Mindful Benefits Of Colouring For Adults
The Mindful Benefits Of Colouring For Adults: Colour with your crew: it’s a perfect party activity! Photo Credit:


It can be done alone or socially: Play some jazz music, put out some cheese, some wine and have a relaxing night-in. Feeling friendly? Embrace your extroverted side by hosting a colouring party; your guests can take their art home as a party favour.

It’s most popular designs have Ancient Indian roots: Mandalas are extremely popular in adult colouring images and are diagrams with geometric designs that when coloured can create intricate, beautiful patterns. Rooted in Hindu and Buddhist traditions, they are spiritual symbols considered to represent the whole universe and holy spaces.

It’s affordable: There are tons of free images can be sourced online with most dollar-shops and budget department stores selling supplies for $3-$10; a pretty good price range considering all of its positive elements.


Main Image Photo Credit: 

Rachna Sethi

Rachna Sethi


Rachna (@mindfullyyours)is a graduate of the Applied Mindfulness Meditation program from the University of Toronto, a certified Educator with two bachelor degrees and a diploma in Art Therapy. She's dedicated to living with a compassionate approach. Committed to helping people integrate Mindfulness...


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