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Mindful colouring is a simple technique that uses colours to create calming images in your mind. This activity will help you relax and reduce stress. Colour has the power to influence our mood and our state of mind. The power of colour to affect our state of mind has been recognised for centuries, with many cultures and religions having colour symbolism playing an important role in their beliefs and traditions.

Click here to download some mindful colouring books for kids and adults

A brief history of colour therapy

Colour therapy also known as chromotherapy, is one of the most ancient therapies in the world, it can be traced back to the days of ancient Egypt, Greece, China, and India (Analysis of Chromotherapy). Colour was extracted from gemstones, crystals and minerals mixed with oil to produce vibrant liquid colour that was then used to paint.

Colour has the power to influence our emotions, beliefs, and behaviour. It can influence our health, our mood, and our state of mind. It can even affect our physical state and our physical well-being.

Drawing with colour

Colour is one of the most important aspects of our world. It is used in many ways, from aesthetic pleasure to identification and expression. The colour of an object, place, or person can communicate a variety of different meanings. Some colours are commonly associated with certain emotions, such as red being the colour of anger, passion or aggression. While blue signifies calmness or serenity. Drawing with colour can trigger different emotions or thoughts in us and can calm and relax us or trigger rage and violence. Use these drawing with affirmations to tap into emotions of benevolence 

Some references to colour and emotions

  • Orange: Energy, Happiness, Vitality
  • Yellow: Happiness, Hope, Deceit
  • Green: New Beginnings, Abundance, Nature
  • Blue: Calm, Responsible, Sadness
  • Purple: Creativity, Royalty, Wealth
  • Black: Mystery, Elegance, Evil
  • Gray: Moody, Conservative, Formality
  • White: Purity, Cleanliness, Virtue
  • Brown: Nature, Wholesomeness, Dependability
  • Tan or Beige: Conservative, Piety, Dull
  • Cream or Ivory: Calm, Elegant, Purity

Discover more about colours and their related emotions here

Mandalas

Mandala is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘circle’ or ‘diamond’. The art form is meditative and creative in that intricate patterns are used to focus the mind and express the inner feelings of the artist. The intricate patterns and colours are used to bring peace and tranquillity to the artist, who can then focus on their next creation. Mandala art created is very soothing to look at, and often uses colour as a way to bring focus to the pattern on the paper, which in turn brings focus to the artist. The shapes and colours used in the mandala art reflect the inner self of the artist at the time of creation, which allows the artist to bring forth their best work.  Read up on our other post in relation to Mandala colouring 

Mindfulness colouring is an evolved version of mandala colouring. While the mandala drawing is circular, as the term suggests. Mindfulness colouring can be applied to any kind of pattern. Mindfulness colouring contains a large amount of mental activity and concentration. This can be a strategy to help develop a focus on a specific mental task, or it can simply be a method to help you relax. However, mindfulness colouring can also be used for positive reinforcement in the form of the achievement of certain goals. It is a strategy for releasing stress, improving focus and developing a deep understanding of the self.

The technique is to follow the breath with the stroke of a brush.  It is like a meditation, when colour is applied to the pattern it can be easy to get carried away, but by following your breath and giving yourself time to let go of the brush between strokes, the colour application becomes controlled and precise. It is easy to get distracted and scatter colour, but by following your breath and being mindful of your brush movements, you can keep your colouring controlled.

Image: decorative

5 reasons why mindful colouring is good for you

1- Connecting you with your breath

To start find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed. Select your mindfulness colouring book or pattern if you don’t have one click here for a free download. Choose any colour you’d like to use, preferably something soothing to you. Take your first breath in and draw lines radiating outwards towards the pattern and as you breathe out radiate inwards towards the pattern or vice versa whichever you are comfortable with.  As to draw in this way you will start to notice that with each line you will start to focus on your breath. You may also notice that the pace at which you breathe may slow down. Let the stokes and breath be natural do not force or alter your breath. The practise of focusing on your breath helps you ground and be in the moment. You might use this when you are reading a book, listening to music, or cooking dinner.

2- Connecting you with sensations in the body.

Once you have become aware of your breath now turn your awareness to the sensations in your hands or palm. Observe the sensation of holding the pen, pencil or paintbrush.  Is your grip tight or loose? What sensations are you feeling in your fingers or anywhere else in your body?. Do not be concerned if you do not feel or become aware of anything. Being aware that you cannot observe any feeling is also awareness in itself. With practice, you will start to connect you’re your body and with that, you will start to observe the different sensations in your body.  It is all about observing with an open mind, this type of awareness involves noticing things as they happen.

3- Connecting you with your thoughts and emotions.

Now begin to become aware of the thoughts that are popping up in your mind. Just observe the thoughts you complementing your colouring skills or criticising them? Do you think you can do better or are you satisfied and happy with your colouring abilities? Just notice and observe them there is no need to do anything.

4- Connecting you with your emotions.

Take it a step further and now observe the different emotions you feel as you see the different colours in your drawing. Which colour evokes joy and which one evokes sadness? Are you choosing to use pastel shades to calm you down, or bright colours to cheer you up? Are you judging your colouring techniques, if so what emotions rises as a thought of judgement arise? Just observe whatever is showing up there is no need to do anything. If you wish to take it further observe your reaction to these thoughts and emotions. 

5- Write down what you’re feeling.

Take time to write down or journal what you have observed, it might be helpful as you can better understand yourself. Writing down how you feel will help you identify the emotions you’re experiencing. It will also help you understand how your emotions and feelings impact the way you react to situations. By observing and understating your emotions, feeling and behaviour you can choose to react in a better way next time you are presented with the same situation.

 

Mindful colouring may sound fun and interesting, but at the same time, it gives you a deeper understanding of yourself and change how you choose to react to the world around you.  It is also a wonderful way to connect and anchor to your breath, it brings you into the here and now. Thus, promoting calmness and relaxation.

 

These are just 5 reasons why mindful colouring, this art form can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Kids can learn about mindfulness through colouring in books and puzzles, you can download free books mindfulness books from our mindfulness tools section. 

If you wish to learn more about mindfulness and want to further your practice check out our 8-week The Mindfulness Course This course is accredited by the  Continuous Professional Development (CPD) certification body and upon completion, participants will be awarded 16 CPD hours.

 

photo of author
Meghana Millin
Mindfulness teacher & Reiki Master
CTA Stress Management worshop


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