Why adult colouring books are making a come back

The Guardian recently reported that half of the best selling books on Amazon’s UK website are colouring books for adults. According to the news site, the bestselling title overall last week, on Amazon's US website, was a book of intricate illustrations called The Secret Garden by Johanna Basford.

Art psychotherapist Samantha Davis explained to CapeTalk's John Maytham why we are witnessing such a surge in the popularity of the pastime, even in South Africa.

Davis says that clients regularly come to her to share how colouring in helps them to relax. She says people often experience more anxiety from having to draw from scratch; but colouring in provides more mental relief.

I find that I become more relaxed and calmer. I start to breathe easier. So there are different health and healing benefits.

5 benefits of colouring in for adults, according to Davis:

1. Neurologically, colouring in helps people find a sense tranquility and serves as a kind of escapism.

2. There is an opportunity for adults to explore their mood by choosing different colours according to how they feel.

3. Adults get to experiment with different styles of shading and different ways to start.

4. Colouring in helps stimulates the brain and senses, as well as one’s creativity.

5.The pastime provides an opportunity for people to step away from the pixelated world of electronics and back to the classic use of paper.

When lines are provided, there’s an opportunity to go with the flow – to not have to think. Staying in the lines can help to make a person feel safe.

CapeTalk presenter John Maytham tried his hand at the increasingly popular pastime and we posted his work in progress on Twitter:

Listen to the full conversation on the John Maytham Show below:

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