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Colour me happy

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Reasons to be mindful and get colouring like a grown-up.

Over recent years, the worldwide colouring craze has brought calm and colour to millions of lives. And it's not just the kids. One of the key attractions is that colouring promotes mindfulness – being aware of the moment you’re experiencing – which can distract your brain from anxieties and stresses, allowing you to unwind. And who doesn’t need plenty of distractions right now?

So, if you could do with some sweet relief, try stepping away from the screen and picking up a pen or pencil. Here are some reasons colouring could be the diversion you’ve been looking for, and some titles to get you started.

Your friends are probably already doing it
At the peak of the global colouring craze, Australians were buying over 1.5 million adult colouring books a year. This means that people you know – your friends, colleagues, neighbours and family members – have probably been blissing out without you. While a blank page may seem daunting to some would-be doodlers, colouring between existing lines can offer a leisurely entry point to artistic pursuits. So, even if you’re artistically challenged, colouring can help you release your creative self.

Colouring can be social
Your coloured pictures need not be confined to the pages of a book. Join a Facebook group, start a blog, post them on social media, stick them on the fridge or post them to a friend. You can also wow artists like Johanna Basford by sharing your expressions on their galleries. Head to a virtual meetup and invite your friends or co-workers to compare creations. Or you can get the family involved and colour along with the kids (just don't let them scribble outside the lines).

Variety rules
From magical landscapes to scenes from movies and TV shows, celebrity pin-ups to city streets, tattoos to psychedelic patterns – adult colouring comes in many forms. Reimagine scenery in a colour palette that matches your mood, cut loose with highlighters, or take the realist route, it’s entirely up to you.

It can make you feel good
Discover joy in switching off while creating something beautiful. You can pick your pictures up and put them down at will, push your artistic boundaries and challenge yourself to achieve a goal. If you mess it up, no problem – turn the page and start over. If only all aspects of our lives were that accommodating…