How helpful are colouring books for adults?

How helpful are colouring books for adults?

Bookshops have been awash with publications on mindfulness for a while now. Most recently the colouring book for adults has been taking over the bookshelves. I am a little skeptical about the idea of being able to acquire the state of mindfulness from a book. Don’t misunderstand me – I would love to give into the colouring craze. But I think there is something about the culture of commercialisation that feels completely at odds with the experience of mindfulness. We might like a state of calm to be purchasable. Maybe it appeals to us to be able to buy the benefits it can bring? But sadly things aren’t quite that straightforward. Even with the most intricate colouring book, a mindful experience is far from guaranteed as is explored in this article on therapists opinions of colouring books for adults.

There is good news in this though. Mindfulness can be much simpler than the colouring books may suggest. It does not require props or financial output. In fact, all you need is a little time and a willingness to engage differently with the world. With these two things, and a little practice, you can discover a state of mindfulness in almost any activity.

Eating raisins is one of the most famous examples of how to engage in an everyday experience of mindfulness. If it’s not something you’ve tried before then you can find a YouTube video on this exercise here. For me, data entry at work has been one of the most effective routes to a state of mindful serenity. However, anything from washing up to walking can provide an opportunity for clearing the mind.

I may be judging colouring books unfairly. Lots of people sing their praises and become completely engrossed in them. I like to think that I would experience a similar sense of mindful calm if I were to purchase one. But I worry that I would just panic about what colour I should be using or whether I was in the lines! Maybe I will buy one and have a go. I’ll let you know how I get on!

In the meantime, I have been trying some alternatives to colouring books and I have written a post on fifteen of my favourite. I’ve also had a go at drawing a mandala, which I loved!

Let me know your thoughts. Do you find that colouring books can offer a path to calm and tranquility? Let me know your thoughts below and I’d love to hear which colouring books you’d recommend!

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