Colouring for Adults: Have you tried it?

There’s something so soothing mindlessly colouring, the only thing worrying you being whether you should be using red or carmine for this particular spot!

When GG & BB were younger, I used to print loads and loads of colouring pages for them, based on their favourite character of the day. In the process I also used to print some for me or used to sneak out some from their stash!

Even before adult colouring books became so popular, I loved colouring. But, and a big rider to this is that I only like to colour specific things. I love geometric shapes and mandalas and last week when I was cleaning out a cupboard, I came across a fat file full of mandala print-outs all ready to colour.

These days, these colouring books for adults are all the rage, the book which started this craze is Secret Garden which I hear has sold over 2 million copies since it was released in 2013. We see loads of such books in book stores, some even specifically themed. GG & I saw a Harry Potter coloring book and GG wanted me to purchase it for her! These books are quite expensive, retailing over SGD 35 per book and each time I see them and am tempted to buy, the price always puts me off!

But what is the lure of these books? Some people believe that the repetitive motion and confined space in which you have to colour triggers some kind of mental nirvana and gives you the peace of mind that digital devices distractions are forever chasing away. These help you to unwind and kick off the stress of the daily grind. I’ve since discovered that Carl Jung, the pioneering analytical psychologist often used colouring therapy as a means to get his patients to relax way back in the early 1900s and himself used to draw and colour mandalas every morning.

Colouring also trains our minds to focus, so that we do not go out of the line and live in the moment, which is getting to be critical life skill in our lives. It’s a given that colouring helps with fine motor skills because it requires both hemispheres of the brain to communicate and this activity improves fine motor skills and vision.

When I realized I could not get myself to buy the colouring books, especially since there were not many books which catered to what I like to colour, I discovered colouring apps! I can’t remember now where exactly I heard of them, but once I did, there was no stopping me. Most of these apps are free to use with in-app purchases. I’ve yet to pay for any, so keep reusing the same free prints that are available.

I downloaded a bunch of colouring apps and then deleted some of them almost immediately. Like I mentioned before, I prefer to colour geometric shapes and mandalas and those that didn’t have a good selection of those, didn’t make the cut and were deleted.

Colorfy is one where I where I mostly use the blank geometric patterns and make my own. This one has around 2 free palettes and a free daily palette which is usually shades of a single colour.

Another good one is Adult Colouring which seems to have a good mix of pages or books as they call it. Their free colour selections are also the most extensive, but sometimes the colours tend to overlap in palettes and it gets confusing after a while.

ColorTherapy is the last one I frequent. Again a good mix of themes to colour and this one also has a lot of festival-centric pages. Free colour selections are limited though!

All the apps above are from the Apple App Store. I do not know if they are available on Android phones and are free/with in-app purchases.

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