Is coloring really making you mindful?

While many adult coloring books carry the title of coloring for mindfulness, and many colorists state that their reasons for coloring are to become more mindful, without conscious effort, you may not be doing it right.

Mindfulness has a very specific definition. One must be deliberately conscious of the present moment, be focussed on the thought process’ running through your mind, let go of the past and future, and be aware without passing judgement. When done sucesessfully, it can help with stress relief, concentration and relaxation, among other things.

Here are a couple of things you can do to help you use your adult coloring book as a tool for achieving mindfulness:

  1. Get your things ready before you start. If you can, sit in a quiet place where you wont be disturbed. Pens, pencils, pages and books should all be ready before you start a session.
  2. keyBe in the moment. If you’re using coloring to de-stress, you are likely having some issues to stress about. When you are coloring for mindfulness, you need to leave those things behind. Sometimes a physical act can help with this. For example choose a small item like a coin or a key and put it away in a cupboard. You can take it (along with your worries) back as soon as you are finished, but while you’re coloring for mindfulness that coin will stay put where you have hidden it.
  3.  Don’t judge. It doesn’t matter what the end result looks like, the process of coloring is what you need to focus on becoming mindful. One of the easiest ways to turn off your inner editor is to use only one color. That way, your focus becomes the process rather than the finished piece.
  4. Read your own consciousness. While notebooksyou’re coloring and not thinking about the future or the past, it’s likely your consciousness will have a chance to stream. Try not to deliberately steer it in one particular direction. Take note (if not literally, figuratively) of what your brain throws up. WHen you are being mindful, your creative thinking is freed from problem solving and can explore more creatively. Keep a notepad and paper to make sure you can catch any lightbulb moments at the end of your session.

Remember that mindfulness, just like any new skill takes practice and concentration. If you’re having trouble doing it, just color without focus for a while and then try again.

What are you using adult coloring in for?