The colours of relaxation

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The colours of relaxation

Most people see colouring books as a way for children to occupy themselves, but recently colouring books for adults have started flooding the market. Though many are quick to dismiss these colouring books as the latest passing craze, researchers have been asserting the benefits of art therapy for almost a decade and now it’s finally catching on with the public.

The increasing importance given to mental health and well-being has made people seek out various non-conventional forms of therapy. Art therapy (from which these colouring books emerged) helps individuals work out emotional conflicts, reduce anxiety and build up their self-esteem through the use of arts and crafts.

      The act of colouring helps them focus and gives them a sense of accomplishment. It also works as a stressbuster and has become an upbeat alternative to meditation. The process sparks creativity and allows one to channel their inner artist.

“I’ve always loved colouring, even when I was younger. It’s an amazing stressbuster and it makes me feel creative,” says Anamika C, a student in Bengaluru, who recently purchased an adult colouring book.

The books come in a variety of illustrations with vibrant patterns and intricate designs. There are also books based on TV shows like ‘Sherlock’ and ‘Dr. Who’, and movie franchises such as ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Star Wars’. These have received an overwhelmingly positive response from the fandoms as they make the experience of colouring all the more fun.

“I found colouring very relaxing as I had music playing in the background. It’s one of my favourite things to do to pass the time,” says Anjali A.

Though many find it soothing to fill in the lines conventionally in ‘appropriate’ colours, there are those who break away from the norms and produce something out of the ordinary or bizarre. The beauty of these colouring books is that you are free to colour them as you wish with any hue of your choice. There are no ‘colouring guides’ or rules to stop you from channelling your expression of creativity onto paper.

However, not everyone has found colouring books to be the bringers of tranquility. “I bought an adult colouring book hoping it would help me destress and relax. A friend was raving about the benefits, but I found it did not suit me,” says Megan L. “As a perfectionist, I found it difficult to follow the tiny intricate designs.”

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