14 June 2015

Managing Stress and Depression: Adult Colouring Books

I've written before about my long term battle with depression. Unfortunately, I just happen to be one of many people who are affected by the condition. Part and package of dealing with life these days seems to be a large amount of stress for everyone, especially when also trying to manage a mental illness that causes a large amount of anxiety during, what many people would consider, everyday tasks. I've always found activities such as drawing, colouring and painting relaxing and a great distraction from the real world and it seems that a lot of people are beginning to agree. In fact, the influx of art therapy colouring books targeted to the adult market that have hit the shelves within the last 6 months is astounding.
 I first came across the concept of adult colouring books around a year ago when, as part of my job working with adult learning, I assisted with an art therapy course being run with The Stroke Association. One of the learners who had a lot of issues with communication and expressing himself, brought in his copy of the book photographed above to show us. As I flicked through the pages and saw beautiful pictures filled with patterns and intricate lines I could see exactly why he loved this book.
The reason art therapy and adult colouring in particular are so effective is because they allow you to become completely immersed within the activity. Colouring is something that you do quietly that requires no thought other than which colour you might use next. Although you may not notice it happening at the time, this allows your brain to take a deep breath. Simple tasks are one of the most well recognised ways to achieve a calm mind as they stimulate the brain enough to keep it from wandering to things that you don't want to dwell on, yet don't over stretch your mental capability. Interestingly (or at least, I find it interesting!) Tetris is also used in a very similar way to help those dealing with extreme trauma. Combining this calm with the satisfaction felt at creating something beautiful, you have the recipe for a very healthy mind state.

You can now buy colouring books covering a wide range of subjects such as birds, flowers, animals, mandalas, stained glass windows, scenery, insects and make believe worlds so it is totally possible for everyone to find something that they are drawn to.

Of all of the books that I have seen, my top recommendations would be the Art Therapy book photographed above *find here*, the Colour Therapy book *find here* and the Creative Therapy book *find here* all of which contain beautiful, specially designed pages to colour and doodle without feeling remotely childish.

Have you tried any of these books? What are your thoughts on Art Therapy? Would you give it a go?

Annie xxx


  1. Iv'e seen a lot of these books lately and I agree that they can really do wonders for calming you down and getting you into a good space, for a while at least :) Lovely blog by the way.

  2. I've wanted one for aaaaaages. Sorely tempted to get myself one now, especially after seeing Kassi with hers too!

Letting stress affect your overall health constantly through too much stress hormone release also takes away your inner peace and trust that there is any spiritual side of life.
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