Mindfulness has become a bit of a buzzword nowadays, having been shown to have numerous mental health benefits. It can help with depression, anxiety and even certain physical conditions, including arthritis. But what exactly is mindfulness? Simply put, mindfulness is a form of meditation. It actually derives from Buddhism, where the practice is a key step on the road to enlightenment!
But even if you don’t quite manage Nirvana right away, mindfulness will almost certainly help you relax and can be an extremely pleasant experience. Read-on to learn how it works…
Mindfulness is all about focusing your thoughts and attention onto one sense or activity, enabling you to tune-out from all the thoughts and worries of everyday life. You’ll need to immerse yourself completely in what you’re doing, paying attention to the task at hand, without critique or distraction. To the point you can let-go and accept events around you without trying to analyse or control them. In other words, to be ‘in the moment’.
Sounds good doesn’t it? And of course it can be easier said than done. But if you understand the principles of mindfulness, you can start to see how a simple activity like colouring can actually help improve your general well-being.
The concentration and repetitive motion involved in colouring a page will naturally call your attention to the present, and this is at the core of any mindfulness activity. Try following the three steps below, and you’ll soon find yourself truly ‘mindful’ whilst colouring…
When you colour, try to colour in a quiet place with no distractions. Try to be aware of your breathing, and focus only the present moment. Forget anything that’s happened previously, or might happen when you
finish colouring. Concentrate just
on the task at hand.
When you put your pen or pencil to the paper, take note of how it feels - is it rough or smooth? Appreciate the colours and patterns, feel them and see them. Are you colouring in curves or sharp angles? How do they feel to colour? Notice the way these things feel and accept them as they are.
Be kind to yourself. If your mind wanders off (and it will!) just notice that the mind is wandering and bring it back to the task at hand. It’s perfectly normal and acceptable, and is part of human nature. And if you colour outside the lines? Accept that too. You can’t change it, so don’t worry about it.