Mindful Colouring has made a dynamic and effective return to popularity as many adults are revisiting their youth, picking up their pens and pencils, and beginning to colour – in a bid to escape their unruly minds.
And it is helping. But Mindful Colouring could be a much more effective practice, with just a few tweaks here and there,
You might think that mindful colouring is simply colouring-in. You know, the thing you used to do when you were three – trying to keep the colouring inside the lines!
And – as far as I can tell – you’d be right.
There a whole host of info on the web, and mindful colouring books are selling through the roof, but all that’s being advised is the simple exercise of colouring-in.
And it seems that it’s now okay – hip even – for adults to buy colouring books. So why not grab those crayons and felt tip pens and get yourself a colouring book right now!!!
But wait a minute! Does Mindful Colouring REALLY work?
Well, yes…. apparently! Take a look an article like this one, and you’ll see that even the psychologists are on board.
And sure – we know it don’t we.
When we colour, we get absorbed in it – and our troubles go away. Just like our kids.
We are taken by the moment. And that’s what mindfulness is, isn’t it?
Mindful Colouring works because – just like meditation – it gets you to concentrate on something. In this case it is the process of colouring.
But the concentration required to stay between those lines, to choose the colour scheme, to plan what’s going to happen next – all this keeps you present with the colouring.
So even though the thought may take you away, it doesn’t have the power to do this for long. You quite quickly returrn to the colouring. And you do this again and again.
But you can add another element to Turbocharge your practice
What this practice doesn’t give you is a clear insight into what is distracting you from the present moment? Are you thinking about the mortgage? The football? The kids?
You see you could colour one of those pretty mindful colouring books in for half an hour, and be none the wiser as to what is occupying your mind.
Is that REALLY going to benefit you?
So here’s an idea.
Place a blank piece of paper next to your colouring-in pad. Each time you find yourself thinking, write down the subject of the thought: ‘Mortgage’. ‘Football’. ‘Kids’.
Then return to the colouring.
At the end of your session, not only will you have a pretty picture. You’ll have a calm mind. And a list of the subjects that are taking you away from the present moment. Away from peace.
And that gives you insight into YOU.
It shows you you are bothered by what your partner said this morning. It really got under your skin.
So next time that story pops up… It doesn’t matter if you’re washing the dishes or running for a train…. You’ll be more likely to recognise it. And then you can deal with it.
And you’ll more likely to stay in the present moment when it really matters.
The key is getting to know your mind
So that’s my tip for mindful colouring. Why not try it and see how it works for you?
You might be surprised just what subjects pop-up and demand to be thought about! Leave a comment below to let me know how you goet on.