Colouring holds a special place in many hearts, one full of fond childhood memories, of idle afternoons spent relaxing and imagining. It is an activity likewise loved by many parents for the way it induces a calm, meditative, quiet state in their children. Emerging evidence suggests, however, that there is far more to colouring in line art than a way to entertain children on rainy days: Colouring can be used by children and adults alike as a powerful anti-stress technique, and it may even help to combat depression.
How Colouring Therapy Works to Alleviate Stress and Depression
Colouring therapy, while trendy at the moment, is not new; it was first used as a relaxation technique by famous psychologist Carl Jung in the early 20th century. Jung directed patients to colour in mandalas—circular designs with concentric shapes whose origins lie in India—as part of the therapeutic process.
The secret of colour therapy’s effectiveness lies in the way colouring activates different areas of our two cerebral hemispheres, according to psychologist Gloria Martínez Ayala. “The action involves bothlogic, by which we colour forms, and creativity, when mixing and matching colours. This incorporates the areas of the cerebral cortex involved in vision and fine motor skills. The relaxation that it provides lowers the activity of the amygdala, a basic part of our brain involved in controlling emotion that is affected by stress.”
In layman’s terms, colouring provides a “low pressure” means of focusing the brain, effectively distracting us from our worries. There is also the matter of those positive associations mentioned prior: Colouring works on the imagination and brings us back to carefree times experienced during childhood, lulling our minds into a sense of calm and well-being.
Likewise, colouring helps adults and children alike connect to what they are feeling, as colour selection can hold important clues about that individual’s emotions (choosing vivid, warm colours such as red or orange may indicate feelings of aggression, for example).
Why Choose Colouring Therapy?
Colouring therapy has the same benefits as many other forms of art therapy (it is inexpensive, portable, and lacks the side effects of medication), but it adds an extra “de-stressing” dimension by virtue of the fact that it lacks the pressure inherent in trying to create art from scratch. Many people have a very hard time separating art from the idea of having to perform, of having to produce something that will be admired by others, whereas coloring in someone else’s art is not loaded with the burden of such expectation.
Due to this, colouring therapy can benefit practically anyone—young or old, artistic or barely able to draw a stick figure. Colouring therapy is truly open to everyone, and may be of particular benefit to those who struggle to voice their feelings (if you know someone who seems stressed out or depressed but who has a hard time opening up, try gifting him or her a colouring book—it might really make a difference).
How to Practice Colour Therapy
Colour therapy can easily be practiced anywhere you can bring a coloring book and pencils (at the office, on train rides, etc.) and makes a wonderful alternative to distracting one’s self with one’s smartphone (as our phones, entertaining as they are, are also linked to stress and distraction). You will, however, probably get the most benefit out of colour therapy if you dedicate some true “quiet time” to it (and yourself) in the evening at home. Psychologist Antoni Martínez recommends it “in a quiet environment, even with chill music. Let the colour and the lines flow.”
GOOOD Pet Collars and Cat Cafe Neko no Niwa has collaborated to bring you a COLOUR FOR LOVE💕mini colouring competition.
$2 donation (to purchase a colouring card) + Colouring therapy = Win a pair of tickets to The Cat in the Hat!
Just pop into Cat Cafe Neko no Niwa at 54A Boat Quay to get a limited edition GOOOD Pet Collars colouring card. We have colouring pencils to help you be that winning entry! Paste your card on the cafe wall for all to see and get them back in the mail as a momento when the contest period is over. We have two pairs of tickets for Dr Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat on 29 Aug to giveaway thanks to Singapore Repertory Theatre‘s The Little Company.
Colouring contest ends 16 Aug. Proceeds go to Animal Lovers League – ALL Authorized Page.
Special Colouring Launch
To celebrate the therapy of colouring further, GOOOD Pet Collars has launched an original cat illustrations colouring postcards set (8pcs – all different illustrations) for cat lovers! They make great gifts too.
Each illustration is inspired by our daily dealings with our beloved furkids.
Get them today at our Etsy store (www.etsy.com/shop/gooodpetcollars) or visit Cat Cafe Neko no Niwa!