There were times I felt really low and didn’t know how much longer I could carry on living in daily fear. I never considered that colouring might help me, until I remembered a time it had.
Source Claire Eadie in Ireland Today and her blog colourwithclaire.com
Elizabeth Docherty from Ireland Today reports the story of four adults who colour away their depression and anxiety.
Increasingly mindfulness is being seen as a way of helping people to cope with depression, anxiety, and stress. It is rapidly turning into a universal panacea.
However mindfulness, with its present moment focus on sensations in the body is not suitable for everyone. Some people can find this kind of practice uncomfortable, and sometimes even harmful.
Adult colouring allows for a similar experience. While it requires focus and concentration, it differs from mindfulness in two important respects.
When we are anxious our thoughts often race. Focusing on a task like colouring can help to slow down our thoughts.
It can also be difficult to find a constructive behaviour to respond to our feelings of anxiety. Sometimes we can become completely frozen into inaction.
Colouring allows us to move, and the simple act of moving your hand back and forth can often be calming. My article When mindfulness goes wrong has a more in depth explanation of why being able to move can help.
Also, being productive and task driven is very important to many people, and you may feel more comfortable with something which has an end outcome.
When I have completed something, I like to spend time in a moment of Zen satisfaction, absorbing the finished product, whether it is a new cupboard, a freshly painted wall, or the final draft of an essay I have been writing.
Some other activities which can have a similar effect to Zen Colouring you might like to consider,
adult colouring image reproduced with kind permission by Claire Eadie
title image by Feroze Edassery