Walk into any bookstore, and you’re bound to find a plethora of intricate colouring books geared toward adults, not children.
It seems like everybody’s colouring these days, so what’s the buzz about?
“As a result of ever-increasing stress in the fast-paced, modern world, adult colouring provides a calming, quiet activity that takes adults away from their phones and computers and allows them to reconnect with a simple, creative activity from their childhood,” says Dani DiPirro, founder of PositivelyPresent.com, which focuses on positivity and living in the moment.
“Colouring is more than just a hobby. It’s a way to practise mindfulness for those who might not be interested in meditation or yoga. It’s also a wonderful outlet for creativity, particularly for those who don’t consider themselves to be creative types,” says DiPirro, who is based in Washington, D.C.
Though colouring can feel therapeutic, it is not technically art therapy, as some may call it.
“Art therapists are psychotherapists who have gone through years of post-graduate training,” says R. Depocas, speaking for the Canadian Art Therapy Association.
“Though art therapists may use colouring as a tool, it is not the field of art therapy. Adult colouring is a wonderful fun hobby that many find as a source of enjoyment and relaxation, and an outlet for creativity.”
DiPirro sees many benefits of colouring as an adult, but one of the most important ones, she says, is achieving a state of mindfulness.
“To me, mindfulness is about staying in the present moment and striving to pay attention to what’s happening right now, rather than fretting about what has happened or worrying about what will happen. When you are more present in your life, you’re able to be more productive, more successful, and more connected to yourself and others,” she says.
“Whether it’s colouring or some other activity that allows you to be fully in the moment, it’s important for adults (especially those with highly stressful lives) to find something that encourages them to stay present. This activity won’t be the same for everyone, but whatever it is, I recommend making time to do it at least once a week – put it on the calendar so you don’t forget!”