I’m genuinely surprised at how relaxing it is to colour. I sit down for my ten minute colouring break and next thing I know it’s been half an hour or more! I completely relax and loose track of time. The same thing happens in the colouring classes I teach at Cafe Mila – and it’s not just me, it seems to be everyone. I get comments like Anna’s, “The time flew by. Really relaxing and completely in the zone.” I’m not sure why this surprises me so much because I spent hours colouring as a child.
I’ve been wondering more and more about the science behind colouring and how it affects the brain. It seems to be not just a wonderful for mindfulness bringing you into the present moment, but also meditative and actually relaxing for the brain.
A 2006 randomised controlled trial of mindfulness-based art therapy studied the effects it had for women with cancer. The Pub Med study found that mindfulness-based art therapy had a significant positive effect on key aspects of health-related quality of life (as measured by the Medical Outcomes Study Short-Form Health Survey). In comparison to the control group, the mindful art group demonstrated a significant decrease in symptoms of distress.
Now colouring is not art therapy. There’s no therapist in what I do obviously nor when you are alone colouring. However, the healing seems to come from the calm state it creates and the ability to then tap into your own right-brain awareness.
I realise that colouring does not work for everyone. I am just a trial of n=1, however, I really feel the relaxing benefits of my time spent colouring and it seems to be the case for people who come to my classes. I’m not sure if it’s as simple as, time flies when you’re having fun, but it feels like it. And I know one thing for sure: I can use more F.U.N!
If you’re in Godalming or Guildford area, try one of my colouring classes.