When was the last time you were completely focused on the present moment, with no thoughts to the future or the past?
If you’ve been feeling particularly stressed, rushed, or overwhelmed, it’s a great time to bring the present back into full view. Worrying about the future or dwelling on the past can be overwhelming and exhausting. And it doesn’t help in the long run, because the only thing you can control is the present.
Being more mindful can help you feel less stressed and more in balance. It will also help you come back to your work feeling refreshed, with new ideas that you otherwise wouldn’t have had space for in your mind.
Today we are sharing tips for increasing your mindfulness through creativity, so you can feel more in balance and more at peace, even on your busiest days.
Mindfulness for beginners
Mindfulness is a great way to bring instant calm, focus, and balance into your life. There are lots of easy ways you can practice mindfulness, even for beginners who aren’t sure where to start.
Mindfulness isn’t a complex concept. It is really all about bringing your thoughts fully into the present moment and calming your mind and body. It’s about slowing down, clicking into the present, and letting yourself enter a relaxed state.
You might be surprised at the kinds of activities that can help you increase your mindfulness. It’s not just about meditating in a silent room.
For example, exercising alone can help you clear your mind; even just going for a walk outside can help you tap into the physical benefits of mindfulness. Other exercises like jogging or swimming are also a great way to get in the zone of mindfulness.
If exercise isn’t your style, there are so many other options: focusing on your breathing, knitting or crocheting, doing embroidery, gardening, cooking, playing a musical instrument, journaling, floral arranging, doing a jigsaw puzzle, and coloring are all wonderful ways to slow down your thoughts, focus on a simple task, and let your mind wander and unwind.
Mindful coloring is the perfect introduction to mindfulness as a beginner.
Being mindful has so many benefits. It’s never too late to start, and there’s really no bad time to try it! Even two minutes of mindful thought and awareness can shift the tone of your day.
Mindfulness has been shown to improve the following:
- Decision-making, because it can reduce the tendency to ruminate on the past and fear about the future, allowing you to make a decision more easily.
- Information processing, like when you’re trying to evaluate multiple options.
- Empathy toward others, including yourself.
- Focus, by reducing ‘mental chatter’ that can put a stop to action and creativity.
- Creativity, by allowing your mental pathways to clear and make new connections.
- Symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress, which are often reduced after a period of mindfulness
- Openness and balance, by reducing feelings of overwhelm and worry, which allows you to find space for new things in your life
Mindful coloring for beginners
One of the best ways to achieve a mindful state quickly is coloring. We love it as a mindfulness strategy because it is fast, effective, and even gives you a beautiful result when you are done.
Coloring can be done anywhere, as long as you have a pad of paper or a coloring book and something to draw with.
Here are some reasons to love coloring as a method of mindfulness for beginners:
- Coloring gives you a sense of control and calm as you pick out colors and fill in the design.
- Coloring is an easy way to disconnect from technology and media, because it requires all of your focus.
- You can make creative choices (like picking your colors) without exerting a challenging level of creativity, because all you have to do is fill in pre-made designs.
- There are no right or wrong answers. However you choose to color your page, you are simply exploring and being aware of the page becoming filled.
- You can take your coloring book and a few coloring tools anywhere; just tuck them in your bag and go!
- The act of coloring in the lines feels comforting and meditative, since the process is slow-moving and straightforward, with very low stakes.
“In this moment, I am coloring.”
That’s all you have to tell yourself when you use coloring as a way to be mindful and focus on the present.
Here’s how to do it:
- Grab your coloring book and select the page or design that makes you happy, excited, and inspired. The Ink+Volt Inspirational Coloring Book beautifully incorporates inspirational phrases and gorgeous designs that offer tons of shapes and intricate details to color. But any coloring book that has designs or patterns that attract you will work. If you love it, that's all the matters. Mandalas are a great choice as well, but for a few more suggestions, check out our previous post here.
- Choose your coloring tools, whether that’s colored pencils, markers, glitter or gel pens, or brush pens. Whatever you’re most comfortable with or excited to use, go for it!
- Because the process of choosing the actual colors for your coloring sheet is part of the mindfulness process, have fun with what you have, whether it’s a big selection with dozens of shades or just the basics. And you can be careful and thoughtful about pairing colors or just go for it and make decisions on the fly. There is no right or wrong way to do it, as long as you aren’t rushing through it trying to get to the next thing.
- As you color, focus on what you’re doing in the present moment, don’t think about the past or future. When you choose a color, tell yourself that you are choosing this color whole heartedly. Release any doubt or judgement that the color doesn’t look right or that you ultimately chose the wrong color. Being gentle with yourself and releasing negative thoughts will help you keep the act of coloring positive and solely about the act of coloring in the present.
- Set a timer and avoid interruptions, for however much time you have. Silence your phone, put away your electronic devices, and dedicate some time to yourself just for coloring.
Need even more mindfulness? Stay motivated with these mindfulness quotes, which are a great way to keep up a new practice of mindfulness for beginners.