With all the stresses and worries of everyday life it’s hard to maintain a sense of calm sometimes. Finding the right work-life balance, juggling parenting with your relationship or simply trying to navigate your way through life may cause you a headache at the best of times, but occasionally it can leave you feeling like your mind is drowning in a sea of worrisome thoughts.
When our mind starts to work overtime there are some simple exercises we can do to reduce our stress levels and calm our anxiety, deep breathing and mediation being two such examples. However, in recent times there has been a surge in a variation of mediation that promises all the benefits and some added extras. What’s more, it’ll take you on a journey back to the simple times of your youth.
The exercise, mindful colouring, is as straightforward as the name suggests. All it requires is paper, already adorned with patterns if you prefer, and colouring utensils. Whilst this may sound too childish for some, there are numerous benefits to this practice.
- It takes your mind off your current circumstances and thoughts and redirects it towards colouring intricate patterns, therefore allowing you peace from any troublesome or anxious feelings.
- When focusing on a creative activity such as colouring your brain operates in alpha waves – the most creative state – which is especially useful for those who need to inject a boost of creativity into their lives.
- It is essentially a form of mediation, however, it doesn’t come with the worry of having to sit and acknowledge any unpleasant thoughts that may arise through conventional mediation practices.
- Colouring relaxes the brain and lets it ‘rest’. In particular it calms the amygdala (the part of the brain which controls our fight or flight response). An over-active amygdala will cause anxiety, worry and possibly panic.
- Colouring also activates both sides of the brain as it involves creative yet practical, problem solving skills.
- Not only does colouring engage the brain, but it also gives your hands something to do. This can help to reduce feelings of angst and could be useful for smokers who are struggling to give up the habit.
- It can help prevent boredom.
- The repetitive motion is soothing for our mind and body.
With the popularity of this practice booming you’ll find mindfulness colouring books at almost any supermarket or stationary shop. So the next time you feel like your mind is getting the better of you, why not take some time to channel your inner child and declutter your thoughts in the process?
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/48289187@N00/26186556621″>Week14/52 Colors</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>
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