You may have noticed a recent trend in bookshops and in the media of adults colouring. Colouring in for adults? Typically it is considered an activity to entertain children! However, it can be just as useful for adults as a way of managing stress and anxiety.
Research has shown that colouring invokes a similar response in the brain to that seen when people are engaging in meditation or mindfulness. Mindfulness – the act of cultivating present moment awareness with openness, receptivity, and interest – is a practice widely recognised as a key component of treatment for a range of psychological conditions including depression and anxiety. Benefits of a mindfulness practice include increased attention and concentration, enhanced resilience, improved relationships, reduced influence of thoughts and feelings, greater capacity to be aware of and change undesirable behaviours, and overall increased life satisfaction.
Mindfulness can be practiced in many ways, including meditation, yoga, walking, and other activities. Colouring is the latest way in which mindfulness practices are being practically applied. Typically the patterns in adult colouring books involve intricate detail, promoting the use of concentration skills and creative use of colour. Engaging in this process allows for practice of present moment awareness and focused attention which can provide a mental break from stress or problems being experienced and invoke a sense of calm and relaxation as the mind stills and becomes concentrated on the task at hand.
How to Get Started Colouring
Colouring could be an activity you enjoy alone to unwind after a busy day or for a mini-break during a hectic work day. It might be an activity you could enjoy with your partner or children and is a great alternative to seemingly endless technology time.
To get started you will need some colouring tools (pencils, crayons, markers) and colouring templates. For templates google ‘adult colouring pages’ or see the following links for some beautiful books full of pages to keep you colouring!
To learn more about mindfulness and a range of strategies in addition to colouring, please contact CBT Professionals on (07) 5668 3490 and arrange an appointment with a psychologist.