When it comes to reducing stress, many people often think of activities like exercise or meditation. However, there is another technique that has gained popularity in recent years – adult colouring books. Research has shown that colouring can be an effective way to reduce stress and improve wellbeing, particularly when combined with mindfulness practices. This article explores how mindful colouring can help lower anxiety and provides tips on how to practice it effectively.
Mindfulness involves paying close attention to the present moment without judgment. Meditation is often used as a technique to enhance mindfulness, such as focusing on the breath. Similarly, colouring can serve as a way to stay focused on the present. Several studies have been conducted to examine the effects of colouring paired with mindfulness. A study with university students found that those who received mindfulness instructions while colouring reported feeling less anxious and more focused compared to those who coloured without any guidance.
In another experiment involving teachers, participants were divided into two groups. One group engaged in daily mindful colouring activities for five days, while the other group continued with their regular work routine. The teachers who practiced mindful colouring reported feeling less stressed and more mindful and resilient. This suggests that learning how to colour mindfully before engaging in the activity can maximize its benefits.
To determine whether mindful colouring offers similar benefits to traditional meditation practices, a study compared colouring to a specific type of meditation called loving-kindness meditation. The results showed that both mindful colouring and meditation with loving-kindness had equal effects in making people more mindful and less anxious. This suggests that mindful colouring may be just as effective as meditation in reducing anxiety.
If you want to try mindful colouring yourself, it is important to create an environment free of distractions. Find a quiet and comfortable place where you can focus solely on the activity. When choosing materials, simplicity is key. Too many colours can be distracting, so opt for abstract colouring pages that allow you to focus on the activity rather than the logical colours of objects. While colouring, observe your thoughts and allow them to pass without attachment. When your mind wanders, gently refocus on the colours or your hand movements. The practice is all about being present and letting go of any thoughts or feelings that arise.
If colouring is not your preferred activity, there are still other ways to incorporate mindfulness into your daily life. Drawing, knitting, or even mindfully performing simple chores like washing dishes can help manage anxiety and promote mental wellbeing. Additionally, activities like walking can also be beneficial for reducing stress. The key is to choose an activity that allows you to be in the moment and fully engaged.
Research has shown that mindful colouring can be an effective technique for reducing stress and improving overall wellbeing. By combining the act of colouring with mindfulness practices, individuals can experience decreased anxiety and increased focus. Additionally, mindful colouring offers similar benefits to traditional meditation practices, such as loving-kindness meditation. Overall, incorporating mindfulness into daily activities can have a positive impact on mental health and wellbeing, regardless of the chosen activity. So, whether it’s colouring, drawing, or simply being present in the moment, taking the time to focus on the present can lead to a more relaxed and balanced life.