Adults take it for granted that they know more than children. It’s often a fair assumption. But when it comes to general wellbeing and happiness the opposite may be true. That’s not to say that children don’t face stresses. Making friends and fitting in as a pre-schooler is strenuous stuff, not to mention facing veggies – five portions per day. Gritty. It’s why de-stressing is so important for kids. And Sinomonde Ngwane thinks grown-ups have something to learn from a simple children’s exercise – colouring.
At 21 years of age, the Durban-based graphic designer is looking to childhood to take society forward and away from anxiety. With the help of Jodie Goolding, who plies her trade as an illustrator in the UK, Ngwane has created an adult colouring book titled Reasons to Smile. Inside are 50 colour-beckoning drawings based on what Ngwane calls “the little things in life that are worth smiling about”. Colouring within the lines takes care, forcing adults to slow down for a moment or two. The psychological effects are well documented and include stress relief and the stimulation of creativity.
The average adult life seems to only grow more complicated and responsibility-driven. And the solution to not becoming overwhelmed could be as easy as adding colour to negative space. Before dismissing the proposition as too simple, think back to the last time life was as anxiety-free as it was during childhood. Give it a try – you’ve got nothing to lose, except a few grey hairs.