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Are Adult Colouring Books The New Mindfulness?


by Jennifer McShane
16th Aug 2015

Mindfulness is all about focusing on the here and now. It’s something that has experienced huge growth in recent years. The concept revolves around focusing on your thoughts, feelings, and emotions that are happening right at this very moment. It’s about focusing on the present without worrying about what tomorrow will bring. Of course, with all the stress of everyday life it can be difficult to find the time to relax and think about this. But for many, this practice known as Mindfulness (based on an ancient Buddhist practice) is now an essential part of life.

ICYMI: Mindfulness Made Easy

Numerous articles have said that new types of colouring books for adults are a new form of mindfulness. Before you object, these aren’t the sort of colouring books you had as a child, rather books aimed at adults specifically. Author Anastasia Catris, who developed a series of books known as ‘Colour Me Mindful’ explains the concept of colouring as a relaxation tool:

?The rise of ‘Colouring In’ as a tool for mindfulness is making this form of creative art therapy accessible to everyone the world over; and its huge popularity is proof of how many people feel they need to center themselves,? she explained to The Huffington Post. ?Through colouring in you can focus your mind on one small task at a time, whether that is shading an area, or losing yourself in the finer details. While this is by no means a cure for stress or anxiety, it can definitely be another weapon to add to your arsenal, calming and centering your mind.?

This makes a lot of sense, and many fans of the method agree with Catris, saying that this colouring helped them stay focused, reduced their anxiety, and brought a new sort of mindfulness to their lives.

2015-08-10-1439217852-8738244-ColourMeMindful1-thumb
Author Anastasia Catris developed a series of adult colouring books focusing on Mindfulness.

?Channeling that child-like, care-free focus on such a seemingly simple task as colouring in is a great way to explore mindfulness and help anchor your thoughts,? the author continued. ?The vast variety of adult colouring books on the market also means that there is something for everyone. Whether you prefer the explorative, puzzle solving ‘activity’ style colouring book; hyper detailed mandala style artwork; or a variety of subject matter such as birds, sea creatures or cityscapes; this variety allows you to find something that speaks to you and that you personally find calming.?

“The fact that colouring is structured activates the logic part of the brain, and generates a creative mindset,” added New York-based clinical psychologist Dr. Ben Michaelis.?Because it’s a centering activity, the amygdala, which is the part of the brain that is involved with our fear response, actually gets a little bit of a rest,? Michaelis said, ?and it ultimately has a really calming effect over time,? he said.

This is certainly an interesting concept, what are your thoughts on it?