Study Suggests Adult Colouring Books May Improve Mental Health

By November 11, 2017Arty, News

Colouring books for adults have become hugely popular of late and many adults have been sharpening their colouring pencils and doing their best to stay within the lines. Not only is colouring a relaxing way to pass the time, a recent study from New Zealand has found that colouring could help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Psychology researchers from the University of Otago, New Zealand have found that doing some colouring-in for as little as ten minutes a day can see a notable increase in an individual’s mental health. The study was published in the Creativity Research Journal and has shown that a bit of colouring-in can be a cheap but effective way to help boost one’s mental health.

Speaking of the study, lead author Jayde Flett said: “It is often suggested that colouring-in induces a mindful or meditative state and is linked to reduced activity in the amygdala or changes in brain-wave activity. But we showed that mindful activity wasn’t the driving factor of change because people who did the puzzles also became more mindful.”

The test included 115 women from ages 18-36. Some were tasked with doing puzzles such as sudoku whilst others were asked to simply do some colouring-in. Both groups reported feeling lower levels of stress, depression, and anxiety, but more so in those who had been colouring.

Joint author, Dr Tamlin Conner said: “Our findings bode well for the potential psychological benefits of colouring-in. In this way, colouring-in could be considered an act of everyday little-c creativity, in much the same way as gardening or gourmet cooking. With its low risk and accessibility, we feel comfortable adding colouring-in to the growing list of creative activities for improving mental health outcomes.”

Maybe you could start with some literary inspired colouring books?

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