Colours are the mother-tongue of the subconscious – Carl Gustav Jung
When you little you were told you must learn to colour inside the lines and when you finally learnt to, you stopped colouring in! Well, now you have a reason to pick from all those delightful rainbow colours and play again, not matter what your age. Adult colouring in is all the craze. So what gives?
Carl Jung prescribed colouring in mandalas to his psychiatric patients as he believed that colours have a deep unconscious symbolism. Colouring in gives you the freedom to explore different colours and combinations and express your unconscious feelings without having to analyses or think about it. Colours have certain emotional associations, with warmer colours being more active and energetic or passionate and cooler colours more calming and soothing. And you can colour things whatever colour you choose. A blue elephant, a, pink tree – let go, express yourself, be spontaneous!
If you don’t have much confidence in your artistic skills, stimulating your creative centres and seeing the results is a great way to build your confidence. You don’t need to be a trained artist to enjoy the experience and satisfaction of colouring in.
Getting together to knit, sew and chat is one way women have bonded over the centuries, in the same way, colouring is simple enough that you can socialise and do it at the same time over a cuppa or glass of wine. Colouring in parties or gatherings are gaining popularity as a way to connect over something relaxing, creative and fun.
Stress & Anxiety
The kind of focus needed to colour in involves the same brain centers you use when you are focussing on stressful or worrying thoughts. Focusing on colouring in redirects your attention to colours and shapes and their therapeutic benefits rather than your worries. The repetitive actions of colouring in also has a soothing effect on your nervous system. It has been found in studies that people who do creative things outside of work, such as knitting, painting and sewing cope with stress better.
Mindfulness is the ancient Buddhist philosophy of being in the present moment, that can lead to a sense of acceptance and detachment that helps cope with stress. This has a calming effect on your nervous system and over time can help ease up symptoms of mild depression. Colouring brings your focus down to a specific task that doesn’t require complicated thought processes, but has enough stimulation to keep you interested, and lets you be in the moment and just experience. In fact, it’s an alternative way to meditate if you struggle with meditation where you need to sit and still your mind completely.
It has been found that colouring inside lines, in other words, having specific patterns that you are guided by, has more of a destressing effect than just randomly colouring in a blank page. The outlines allow you to let go as you don’t have to worry about the form, just the colours and textures, accessing your right brain. Stimulating your right brain encourages those amazing out-the-box ideas that you just can’t get any other way.
Colouring in allows you to connect with and express your inner child, remembering the colours and experiences you first had when learning about colours and colouring, a very deep, formative experience in our lives. Reconnecting with our inner child can help us remember and heal parts of ourselves we closed off once we became adults and find that spontaneous enjoyment again.
We have some beautifully intricate colouring books for you to unleash your colourful mindfulness with. Millie Marotta’s Adult Colouring Books have exquisite drawings that will keep you in the zone for hours.
There is a pallette of rainbow colours and all the shades between waiting for you to play and express yourself, and some pretty amazing colouring books filled with intricate and varied designs for adults – grab yourself a colouring book and get into the zone!