You’ve heard of meditation for well-being – but have you tried mindful colouring?

With so much going on in our busy lives, it’s not always easy to switch off. As well as tasks we have to achieve, we’re served a constant, on-the-go flow of information thanks to our devices. This is often as true for children as it is for teenagers and adults.

Meditation is often put forward as a solution to ‘monkey mind’ – that restless state where your thoughts keep jumping around. But useful as meditation can be, it doesn’t work for everyone.

If you’ve ever opened a meditation app and been consumed by thoughts of, well, anything other than meditation, there are different techniques to try.

Mindful colouring is about bringing awareness into the present moment by consciously focusing on colour and design. Instead of the formal practice of mindfulness, you bring your focus to the shade of colours on your paper, and the feelings you experience throughout.

Colouring isn’t just for kids – but it’s certainly something parents and children of all ages can do together and benefit from.

Mindful colouring has been shown to:
• Reduce anxiety and stress
• Improve sleep
• Improve focus
• Improve vision and motor skills

So how do you transform the act of colouring into a mindfulness technique?

Simply pay attention to what is happening in the moment with curiosity, openness and acceptance: the colour of the pencils; the design in front of you. The process of colouring then becomes similar to meditation, where we bring our focus and awareness towards the present moment.

One way to practise this is by colouring Mandalas, as they are full of beautiful patterns and simple motifs.

For more fun and child-friendly mindfulness techniques, check out our guide to family gratitude practice.

Words by Carlie Barlow