The Science of Mindfulness and the Effects of Adult Colouring
Posted on 22 June 2016
Originally an ancient Buddhist meditation technique, over the last few years’ mindfulness has made its way to the forefront of millions of people worldwide who want to improve their mood, switch off and relax. Mindful meditation has become such a hit that it can be considered one of the biggest trends of the 21st Century. There are best-selling mindful meditation books featuring chapters on mindful eating, gardening and other every day chores and jobs. Mindfulness training is now an essential part in many corporate events, schools classrooms and even court cases.
Yet for all its trendiness there is in fact plenty of scientific evidence that mindfulness works and that this won’t be another fad or passing trend. Mindfulness is here to stay! In this article we will look into the scientific effects that mindfulness has on you and how you can incorporate adult colouring into this time of meditation.
In a survey of 2,000 Britons over three quarters said that life was moving too quick and that their day to day grind caused them to worry which caused many of them to feel stressed, ill and in some cases feelings of depression. Half of the people surveyed said that they had trouble switching off at night as they were unable to stop thinking about all of the tasks that they still had to do.
People who practise mindful meditation, when compared to their non-meditative counterparts, have been known to feel less stressed, have a higher tolerance to pain, have a better sense of self, are more aware of their bodies and are more emotionally balanced thus improving their overall appearance, personality and their lives in some way. As mindful meditation encourages users to control their impulses and focus their mind it has been found to be a better predictor of academic success and users were found to have a higher IQ. It was also found that couples who meditate together stay together longer. These couples notice that mindfulness meditation had a positive impact on their martial quality and allowed them to communicate better, share their thoughts and feelings in a healthy way and allowed them to regress any feelings of anger.
According to a study completed by a team of scientists at the University of British Columbia it was identified that mindfulness meditation, when completed properly can have an effect on at least eight different regions of the brain. Of the eight regions there are two in particular that have the biggest effect and are especially important for business professionals these are the hippocampus and the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC).
The ACC is a part of the brain located behind the brain’s frontal lobe, deep inside the forehead. The ACC suppresses impulsivity, knee-jerk reactions and aggression. People with damage to this part of the brain are known to hold on to problems, have outbursts of anger and aggression and make impulsive off the cuff decisions. Meditators learn to control these impulses ensuring that they always make the best decisions and learn to control their anger and aggression.
The hippocampus is a region of the brain that makes up part of the limbic system and is buried inside the temple on each side of the brain. This part of the brain is mainly associated with emotion and memory. People that are experiencing stress-related disorders like depression have a smaller hippocampus as this part of the brain can be damaged by stress and can contribute towards a harmful spiral in the body.
Neuroscientific study shows that as you continue to meditate your brain will physically change and re-shape itself. Their studies are also allowing them to understand why meditation has such an effective on stress management. Using brain imaging techniques, they observed changes in the threat system of the brain which in turn kicks-off in the amygdala. The amygdala is the part of the brain responsible for triggering fear. People who suffer from chronic anxiety have a larger, more reactive amygdala, this leaves them feeling threatened much of the time. Meditation causes the amygdala to shrink and become thicker increasing the person’s levels of awareness, concentration and decision making. While stress can activate a fight or flight feeling in your mind and body, mindfulness meditation activates a resting feeling which helps with stress management.
Adult Colouring and Creativity…
In some countries adult colouring books are outselling cookbooks and biographies. While staying between the lines was once an activity completed only by young children, colouring has become a form of therapy for adults worldwide who just want to minimise their levels of anxiety and stress. Art therapy and colouring can be considered a form of mindful meditation as both are used to focus the mind in any given moment and allow users to go back to a slower pace and a simpler time in a world full of technology, social media and celebrity.
Repetition in a task allows a user to focus their mind while clearing it of negative thoughts and worries. This would explain the mandala colouring trend. Mandalas are intricate designs that have existed for thousands of years and are often seen in a circular shape containing geometric colouring patterns and designs. Sitting back with a colouring book and a set of crayons for a few hours of quite reflection a week leads to a positive effect on the user’s mental and physical state and feelings and offer an increase in the user’s levels of creativity.
So here at Mindfun we feel that all you need to do is to take a little bit of time out of your day, focus your mind, grab one of our unique Mindfun designs and start to colour. Alternatively check out our 10 ways to achieve inner peace through adult colouring and as always don’t forget to show us your completed Mindfun designs on social media by sending your pictures to us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!