Coloring as Mindfulness

In recent years there has been a growth in coloring books for adults. We are finding that this activity, that many enjoyed as children, have added benefits for adults. Coloring by adults requires our focus on the task and away from ourselves.  According to clinical psychologist Scott M. Bea, Psy.D. from the Cleveland Clinic, there are 3 benefits to coloring;
  • Our attention flows away from ourselves and into the present moment. Very much like meditation.
  • Our brain relaxes as we let go of our thoughts and judgments. This also helps our body to relax.
  • Because the outcome is predictable, we can let go of trying to control the outcome. It is hard to mess-up coloring.

This activity doesn’t work for everyone. It is dependent on our enjoyment of coloring as a child. Reconnecting with another childhood hobby that one enjoyed can yield similar benefits, for example, building models, shooting hoops, etc.

In recent educational sessions at The Travis County Jail, the inmates were requesting more information on mindfulness/meditation. They found coloring a great way to easily practice mindfulness.

This Christmas consider buying yourself a gift of a coloring book for adults and crayons/ colored pencils. Here are a few sites that have free coloring pages available. Lets you color online for free. -Color online or print. Printable Christian notecards and bookmarks to color.