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Colouring books may help reduce stress: Study

The participants were able to make any type of art they wished, whether it involved colouring, sketching, doodling, or working with modelling clay

Press Trust of India  |  New York 

If colouring books can help ease stress, such books may just be the perfect thing to slip into your carry-on before you squeeze into coach Photo: istock
If colouring books can help ease stress, such books may just be the perfect thing to slip into your carry-on before you squeeze into coach Photo: istock

Colouring books may make you feel better and help reduce stress, but real is significantly more impactful, according to a study led by an Indian-origin

“The main takeaway is that colouring has some limited benefits like reducing and negative mental states,” said Girija Kaimal, from the in the US.

“But it does not shift anything else of substance, develop relationships, nor result in any personal development,” Kaimal said.

Researchers ran two, separate 40-minute exercises, one consisting of pure colouring and the other involving direct input from an

For the study published in the Canadian Association Journal, every participant — of which there were 29, ranging in age from 19 to 67 — took part in each exercise.
In the pure colouring exercise, the participants coloured in a pattern or design. Although an was in the room, they did not interact with the person colouring.

In the other exercise, participants were put in an “open studio” situation, where an was present and able to facilitate the session, as well as provide guidance and support to process the experience and artwork.

The participants were able to make any type of art they wished, whether it involved colouring, sketching, doodling, or working with modelling clay.

As the participants worked on their piece, the art therapists created art as well, and were available to assist the participants if they asked for it. Each person took standardised surveys before and after their sessions that ranked their levels and feelings.

Perceived levels went down by at roughly the same levels for both exercises (10 per cent for colouring; 14 per cent for open studio).

Negative mental states also showed similar decreases in levels (roughly a seven per cent decrease for colouring, six per cent for open studio).

“The art therapist-facilitated session involves more interpersonal interaction, problem-solving around creative choices and expression, empowerment and perhaps more learning about the self and others,” Kaimal said.

So while colouring did help alleviate bad feelings, it did not create good feelings in the way that actual might.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, December 16 2017. 21:38 IST