Quite recently, I have been coming home from work to find my mother crouched over the dining table, reading glasses on and colour pencils everywhere. It’s a rather odd sight to see your mum so focussed on a colouring book, something I have always thought of as a kid’s activity.
Turns out that this “colouring for adults" is a hot, new trend, with many different editions (there is even a Vogue version)! So I thought I’d give a go (or rather my mum forced me to help her with the more monotonous bits), and the effects were rather…varied. You see, my mum and I are pretty similar - borderline OCD, slight perfectionists (my mum more than me) and a need to finish what we started. So once we began colouring, it was more like a tedious test of patience and colouring skills. My mum insisted on gradients “for texture” so that didn’t make it any easier! I ended up feeling rather tired and brain dead, but on the plus side, it made it easier for me to fall asleep which is rare because I suffer from insomnia.
On the other hand, my cousin who is a much more laid back person found the colouring session far more enjoyable than I did. She found it meditative and a great distraction from all the nagging thoughts on her mind because you are focussing solely on getting that colour within that shape.
This led me to conclude that colouring books, while marketed as an alternative type of meditation, really depends on the person colouring. Ultimately, I believe that you are meant to feel as my cousin did - relaxed, yet focussed, and having fun! So I see it as “training” to learn how to let go, make mistakes and resist the temptation to restart just because I accidentally coloured across the line. It’s one of those things where it’s up to you to feel the effects - kinda like pilates, you could do certain positions easily but when you do it right, that's when you feel the burn. Similarly, the lessons or experiences you get from this form of therapy is really up to you to feel. So I’d recommend just giving it a shot! If anything, it’s also a great bonding activity.
Where to get it?
My mum and I got ours from Amazon, and here are the links:
Animal Kingdom: http://t5c.co/20Fia8m
Tropical Wonderland: http://t5c.co/23yYE2D