We all remember the hours we spent as children colouring in pictures of animals, super heroes, flowers and beautiful nature scenes.
I recently read a study were the researchers measured the anxiety levels of children before and after giving time to colour in mandalas and other pattern sheets compared to anxiety levels before and after free form colouring where children draw and colour their own patterns. The time spent colouring pattern sheets showed a significant decrease in anxiety as compared to free form which showed no difference to anxiety levels.
The act of colouring allows the brain to relax and focus on one thing; being in the moment of colouring. It allows the brain time to rest and recuperate. Surely, there must be something to this if, we as adults, are returning to this strategy to cope with our own daily stressful lives. For people who find traditional quiet meditation difficult, this form of active meditation has many of the same effects on the body.
The key to Mindful Colouring is to give your child a nice space, some quiet meditation music playing in the background, a colouring sheet, colours, markers or pencil colours.
Here are some links to free printable mindfulness colouring sheets you can use.
Affirmation Colouring Sheets- http://www.shambalakids.com/images/FREE%20Mindful%20Coloring%20Book.pdf
Mandala Sheets- http://www.mandala-4free.de/en/index.htm
Mandala Sheets- http://www.coloringcastle.com/mandala_coloring_pages.html
Afterwards, talk to your child about how they were feeling before, during or after colouring.
Try to have several sheets or even a whole colouring book around. Make sure it is age appropriate as designs that are too intricate can be a bit too much for younger children.