What is mindful coloring?
Mindful coloring starts to be known among informal mindfulness training. It brings our awareness into the present moment by consciously focusing on coloring. You are aware of the pencil in your hand, the shade of each color, and your paper. These small effortless and enjoyable actions help you maintain your focus for a longer time. But how does it work, and what are exactly the benefits of mindful coloring to your mental health? Find out.
Is coloring is forgotten by grown-ups?
Probably yes, like many beautiful things we did when we were kids. Coloring is a favorite moment of children. Why? Because children are highly intuitive and spiritual beings. I would not be surprised hearing people say that, would you? Indeed, they know what is best! Let’s look into all the beautiful things they choose to do. Drawing, coloring, playing with sand… Which child does not have this in his childhood memories? A calm evening round a table drawing. You see magic colors realizing themselves on a piece of paper…
Grown-up, we do much less interesting things! But one day you’ll learn to be mindful. You will perhaps want to return to your “beginner’s mind” (Buddhist Zen – “Shoshin”). To become a child again. But how? Easy, do mindful coloring!
Does it really work?
But does mindful coloring really works?
Studies show that for kids, mindful coloring can improve motor skills. It stimulates creativity. Children also have more focus, and self-confidence (Colorpsychology.org). “By taking the time to carefully move from one pattern to the next, children can avoid getting lost in negative thoughts” (Happiful).
How about adults? Well, this is the first fact. ‘Mindful coloring books for adults have held a steady place in the book charts. And it’s internationally since taking off in 2014’, stated Happiful. And you doubt, there are reasons for it! Mindful coloring is proved to be positive for your mental health, reduce anxiety, and stress.
What’s more? Check out the 3 interesting science-proved facts you may not know about mindful coloring.
3 science-proved facts about benefits of mindful coloring
1. Compared to reading, colouring scores higher for mindfulness!
Look into this recent study conducted by the University of the West of England. The volunteers were asked to either spend 20 minutes reading, or 20 minutes colouring. And guess what? Compared to reading, colouring reduced higher levels of anxiety. It also has greater improved mindfulness!
2. Five minutes of colouring equals an hour of meditation, expert says
This is what was announced by AbcNews Australia. Speaking at the World Science Festival in Brisbane, Dr. Stanley Rodski talked about a kind of “coloration” that helped decongest the brain. Coloring, to him, “provided a modern form of meditation”.
The significant benefits of coloring are now being realized for all age groups as it takes its place alongside yoga and meditation as an enjoyable way of improving mental and physical well-being.RippleKindness.org
Why is this so? Because mindful coloring offers a kind of coloring with repeating patterns. And our brain likes it for relaxation. Indeed, this coloring method does not focus on the process. It rather does on creating the pattern using the colors. “Our brain likes to be in this relaxing mode of repeating shapes and staying inside the lines”. Dr. Stanley Rodski, a neuroscientist, maintained this, at the World Science Festival.
3. Mindful coloring overrides stressful images
Another brain scientist, Dr. Joel Pearson, brought an interesting angle. In an article by Nine.come.au., he said: “[With mindful coloring], you have to look at the shape and size. You have to look at the edges. And you have to pick a color. It should occupy the same parts of the brain that stops any anxiety-related mental imagery”.
Indeed, mindful coloring has the same effect as meditating. It allows us to stay in the current moment. This could potentially alter the brain’s structure.
When the brain is focused on a simple activity that takes us outside of ourselves and with a predictable outcome, it’s able to relax.RippleKindness.org
Effortless mindfulness, start today
Mindful coloring is intuitive and effortless mindfulness. There is no set schedule for your formal mindfulness training. Forget your mindful working sheets or complicated mindfulness training tools. With this informal mindfulness activity, you just enjoy it. That’s the magic moment of mindful coloring. No wandering thoughts, no effort, no program. What’s more, it’s fun, cheap, and accessible anytime!
And science also proved it. Firstly, mindful coloring reduces anxiety and stress. Secondly, it improves our cognitive skills. But also, we have better focus and self-confidence. What’s more, it scores better than reading in mindfulness training. We can say that it has the same effect as meditation. And finally, it can retrain our brain related to stressful images.
With all these benefits, why do we wait any longer? I love doing this with my daughter when evening falls, listening to relaxing music. And our mindful day accomplishes. Will you try it too?