The claim that colouring relieves stress seems probable, says neuroscientist Minna Huotilainen. “It has stress relieving elements such as a certain aimlessness and a slow pace. The act of colouring is also mechanical, even rhythmic, somewhat like crocheting.”
Helsingin Sanomat, Essi Lehto: Aikuisten värityskirjoista tuli hitti – Tutkija: Päämäärättömyys ja hitaus lievittävät stressiä (article in Finnish, quote translated by Maria Ljungeld)
In simplest terms, coloring has a de-stressing effect because when we focus on a particular activity, we focus on it and not on our worries. But it also “brings out our imagination and takes us back to our childhood, a period in which we most certainly had a lot less stress.” – – – We can also use it to connect with how we feel, since depending on our mood we choose different colors or intensity.
As children, the technique of coloring develops our dexterous skills and teaches us ideas like color theory. And as we grow older, the wellness impact of coloring becomes even more prevalent. Hands-on art like coloring sharpens our motor skills, relieves our minds of stress and boosts our creative power.
Adult colouring-in books are now a thing, and craft-loving, artsy people the world over are regressing to the mental age of seven. When they’re not playing Candy Crush or Flappy Bird, busy city-dwellers are turning to crayons and felt-tips for their soothing and therapeutic qualities. While in the past people had to wait until they had children to sneakily rediscover the joys of colouring-in, now you can proudly buy colouring books for yourself alone.