Mindful colouring

Using Mindful Colouring to Ease Anxiety During Lockdown

Life is far from exciting at the moment and feels very much like groundhog day. The nuances in our days could be as small as whether you go right or left out of your door for your daily exercise, which side of the table you might sit on for work, and what you are going to have for dinner. Life has become somewhat monotonous and if you experience anxiety, this may be heightened even more at the moment. I wanted to share why mindful colouring could be a simple way to relieve lockdown-induced-stress and anxiety. 

I first started drawing and painting in my free time when I went travelling and actually ended up losing my entire sketchbook of drawings on a boat somewhere near the Komodo Islands in Indonesia. It mysteriously disappeared and my feeling was that someone pushed it off by accident. I had been drawing in this sketchbook for 6 months and it had all sorts of characters sketched out for a children’s story I was writing at the time. This situation for me was stressful, but to get through it, I felt the only thing to do was to buy another sketchbook, and start drawing and painting again. 

Years later, I am still drawing and design all the illustrations for the plantable cards for Loop Loop, which happens to be my favourite part. I still use drawing and colouring as a method to relieve anxiety and started to wonder why this is so effective. I started looking into the recent trend of mindful colouring. This was essentially what I was doing and was amazed to see how science backed up its usefulness. Psychologists and Neuroscientists have been studying mindfulness for decades and it is certainly something that’s been discussed a lot more recently as a means to manage stress in our lives. 

What are the benefits of mindfulness?

There are a myriad of benefits to incorporating a mindful practice into our lives. It can induce a state of relaxation which can have a hugely positive impact. It also: 

  • Lowers anxiety
  • Increased awareness and attention
  • Makes it easier to focus
  • Lowers blood pressure and heart rate
  • Induces feeling of calm and clarity 

Studies have shown that mindfulness can help those suffering from depression by allowing people to take a step back from intrusive thoughts and feelings, and observe and recognise them without being overwhelmed by them. 

What are the benefits of mindful colouring?

There are so many ways to practice mindfulness, it can be done during practically any activity by bringing your entire awareness to the activity in hand. Mindful colouring is an amazing way to bring the benefits of mindfulness into your life. The literal act of doing it calms your amygdala, which is the part of our brain where the fear response is. It can lift your mood and help you become more grounded in yourself as opposed to caught up in your head. This is something which all of us need from time to time, or for some should be a practice which we embed into our daily lives. 

How do I start mindful colouring? 

Firstly create a relaxing space for yourself to work on, this could be clearing the area, lighting a candle or even making yourself a cup of tea. Try and clear your mind from any thoughts about tomorrow or yesterday. This can be hard at first, but the more you practice, the easier it becomes. Whilst you are colouring your mind will probably wander, this is perfectly normal! You can ground yourself again by focusing your attention on the act of colouring. 

If you feel your mind wondering, ask yourself these questions:

  • How does the pen feel in your hand? Is it cold? Is it smooth on your fingers? 
  • How does your hand feel next to the paper you are colouring in? 
  • Which colour do you want to choose for the leaves? 
  • Which colour do you want the circles to be? 

Hopefully you will experience a sense of calmness where you’re not thinking about anything stressful, and instead are solely focused on the colouring. This gives your mind some time to relax, away from worry or stress… It’s just you and the colouring page. 

Why not try it yourself by downloading our FREE colouring sheet. We would LOVE to see your creations, so take a pic and tag @think_looploop on Instagram, and we will share our favourites onto our stories.