Wednesday, 24 August 2016
Adult colouring is the best for your brain health
New research from Canadian Crayola enthusiasts has found that colouring may be one of the most effective ways to maintain memory as you age. But the benefits of the trend for adult colouring books don't end there. It turns out staying within the lines is the ultimate stress reliever too...
The infantilisation of popular culture has a lot to answer for. Onesies, liquefied food, comic book reboots – an alien visiting Earth might well be forgiven for thinking we’ve regressed to a race of prepubescents. But colouring books for adults? It turns out they’re actually a very good and clever thing, much to this cynic’s surprise. In fact, the simple act of shading can be like a shot of Valium to the work-addled brain.
The repetitive rhythm of colouring in complex images has a soothing effect, explains Dr David Gussak, a therapist at Florida State Uni. If that sounds a little bit Zen, well, it is: in a study published by the journal Art Therapy, people who coloured in mandalas (ornate designs that are prominent in Buddhism) saw their stress levels drop three times as much as people who worked with plaid patterns, and twice that of the folks who doodled on a blank page. So next time you’re feeling angsty, think Picasso by numbers, not Art Attack. See? Not so childish after all.