Mindfulness is often described as a state of being fully aware in the present moment, while upholding a non-judgemental attitude. Though traditionally practiced through meditation, the use of colouring-in books to help with mindfulness has becoming increasingly popular in recent times.
To help you in your mindfulness journey, we’ve create a short series of printable, campus-themed, colouring in sheets! So grab your pencils, pop on some relaxing music, and relive your time studying at our beautiful Canberra campus.
Download your colouring sheets and share your beautiful creations on social media – don’t forget to tag us! @anualumni #ANUalumni
Dr Erin Walsh from the Research School of Population Health at ANU, who is also an artist, says:
“People who genuinely enjoy colouring can find it beneficial. It is very helpful for people who want to practice mindfulness, but struggle with meditation,”
According to Dr Jo Lane, clinical psychologist and Research School of Population Health researcher, colouring allows us to connect with the present.
“This happens if we allow ourselves to notice the components of colouring in, for example, the colours, patterns, shapes and designs with openness, curiosity and non-judgement,” said Jo.
Such mindfulness exercises can prove helpful to people dealing with changes to everyday life.
“Colouring in has multiple practical benefits in the current COVID-19 crisis – it is affordable, requires no expert instruction, and can be done conveniently at home,” said Erin. “It is especially effective as a quiet, shared family activity, as it is beneficial for adults and children.”
“Our brains are incredible pieces of machinery that love being busy,” said Jo. “Sometimes, however, our thinking brain can be overactive and a bit of a chatter box.”
“Mindfulness helps us turn down the thinking brain for a while and allows us to be in the present, rather than in the past or the future.”
According to Jo, mindfulness exercises can help lower our heart rate and breathing rate, reduce our stress levels and allow us to feel more relaxed.
“These physiological changes can help us to feel calm, peace, joy, pleasure and contentment. Who doesn’t want that?” said Jo.
Art as therapy is also being increasingly seen as a way to relax and evoking a sense of calm.
“There is a huge body of evidence that shows art therapy, which involves drawing, colouring, sculpture, or other forms of creativity, is effective at reducing anxiety and stress,” said Erin. “This reflects my own experience – there is nothing quite as calming as taking a short time out to pick up a pen and have a quick doodle.”