Healthy Mind

Mindfulness – all in a colouring book

When you think of colouring, you more than likely associate it with primary school. You probably think of pictures of dogs, getting into trouble for not being able to colour inside the lines and arguments over who was using what colouring pencils.
However, colouring has made a comeback and adult colouring books are dominating the shelves of the book shops.
Last year, the popularity of adult colouring books grew substantially. Over Christmas, 9 of the 20 most popular books on Amazon were adult colouring books.
So why have these books suddenly become so popular? The idea of these books is to promote mindfulness. Mindfulness involves paying attention “on purpose” and being aware of what you’re doing.
Up until recently I thought this was a load of rubbish and saw the adult colouring craze as childish.
I am one of the least artistic people you could ever meet. I can’t draw or paint or colour within the lines. I used to dread any mention of the word art in school and 10 years later I’m still being teased by my friends about an awful painting I did in primary school.
Despite my doubts, I decided to invest in a colouring book. Caught up in a “New Year, New Me” frame of mind, I wanted to be more mindful.
As much as I didn’t want to like it, I did. In fact, I find it really beneficial.
Like so many people, I find it extremely difficult to get to sleep at night. I’m either up half the night binge watching something on Netflix or I’m thinking about a mistake I made back in 2007. There is no in between and, up until recently, I was never able to just fall asleep.
Since I invested in a colouring book, I have been sleeping so much better. Instead of scrolling through my phone before bed, I’ve started colouring for a while instead. There is something therapeutic about it. You’re colouring patterns rather than objects and you’re concentrating on what pattern is going what way. I find after about 10 minutes I’m much calmer and trying to fall asleep becomes much easier.
It’s also great for concentration. I coloured for a while before sitting down to write an essay recently and when I sat down, I actually wrote the essay. There was none of the usual dossing on Facebook for an hour or doing a Buzzfeed quiz to determine what European city I should live in. I actually wrote the essay because I was in the right frame of mind.
As much as I didn’t want to like this adult colouring craze, it has become a part of my daily routine. It’s a nice change from staring at a laptop or phone screen right before bed.
You can buy these colouring books in most book stores for as cheap as €10 and, as the pictures are so detailed, the book is going to last you a long time. You can even download
pages online for free and print them off if you’re not quite ready to commit to buying a whole book.
If you’re doubtful about the popularity of adult colouring books, I’d encourage you to give it a go. It may not be for you but you might surprise yourself!