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The good news is that colouring is not the only activity to possess many of these therapeutic qualities.Obviously it has a lot in common with painting and drawing, but there are dozens of activities that have a similar calming effect.Tapestry, for instance, also stimulates brain areas related to motor skills, and entails filling in gaps with colour – it's virtually colouring-in with thread – and samples of Greek tapestry have been found dating from the third century BC.Embroidery, patchwork, knitting, crochet – each of these forms of needlework involves playing with pattern and making creative choices with colour and thread, and all have been with us for centuries.We might even claim to be less blue as a result, except blue is a colour we both like. I just thought I would mention that Canadians spell it colour just the same as honour.*** * I appreciate across the pond you spell the word 'colour' with no 'u' so if you're reading this in the US or Canada, please forgive my use of 'colour' throughout this piece. We didn't bastardize your language like our friends in the south.Whilst certain colours broadly align with specific traits – red is associated with danger, purple with sophistication, brown with ruggedness and so on – personal experiences, upbringing, cultural difference and context all add nuance to what various shades mean to us individually.
'I found I had to focus on the task in hand, and colouring helped me overcome procrastination in small, manageable steps and thereby improve decision making.' In our enthusiasm for colouring, however, let's not kid ourselves that we are the first generation to dream up art therapy.
Long before colouring books started outselling cookery, the great Swiss psychiatrist, Carl Jung, saw that drawing might aid self-exploration.
In the early 20th century he did this through mandalas – designs which use concentric lines and circles and have their origins in India.
'It doesn't matter how much I get done or how much time I have to devote to it, colouring still gives me a sense of achievement.
I'm not particularly artistic but with a colouring book, I can be,' says Danielle Lucas.
For a baby, a circle will come forward out of a confusing mass of random visual input and be recognized as something known and familiar.