When I draw, I sometimes pout. And occasionally I frown. Needless to say, all-round I probably look a bit odd. I don’t mind this though, because when I draw and paint, I’m in a world of my own, where my focus is entirely on what I’m doing.
Colouring in for mindfulness has become a big thing over the last couple of years, and it makes complete sense.
For those of you who don’t know, mindfulness is pretty important. It means focussing on the present moment. For example, enjoying the practise of drawing or colouring, rather than worrying about all the emails you need to answer tomorrow.
After meeting head on with a burglar in my home last year, I experienced a long bout of acute anxiety. This is the first time I realised that mindfulness is a really useful tool for well-being. Being aware of how you’re feeling at a particular moment may feel like something you do all day long, but really it’s surprising to see how little people think in the present, and how helpful it is when you do. Colouring in helps with this because it’s a moment of calm, where you’re focussed on choosing colours, and filling up stark pages with beautiful pictures.
To me, drawing is the same. It’s creative and mindful deciding to draw something, whether from your imagination or right in front of you. It takes calm concentration to form lines, eventually building a shape, and finally creating your own image. It’s satisfying to see what you’ve done, and like writing, it is one of the oldest forms of creativity. Sometimes I leave my sketchbook out on the table before I go to bed. When I get up the next morning, it always makes me smile to see what I’ve created, whether it’s my best drawing or not, whether it’s for any specific purpose, or just in the pursuit of mindfulness.
If you’re thinking ‘this doesn’t apply to me, I can’t draw’, this just isn’t true. Everyone can draw; drawing doesn’t just mean imitating reality, so put pencil to paper and create something in your own style – that’s what makes it unique! I challenge you to give it a go.by Emma Kay. @emmalouise_kay.Read more articles by Emma on floraandthistle.wordpress.com.