Colouring books and Mindfulness

For Christmas 2013 my boyfriend bought me a colouring book and a set of pens. I’d been looking for a colouring book for a while, having decided it might be a nice thing to do when I was feeling stressed, so it was a really thoughtful gift. However, everyone else (not that I particularly valued their opinion) though it was really weird. I wasn’t a child so why would I want a colouring book?

I prefer my cartoon snake to boring patterns...

I prefer my cartoon snake to boring patterns…

Now adult colouring books are everywhere. They have topped bestseller lists and every good bookshop currently has at least one stand devoted to adult colouring books. In my opinion, I would much rather colour in a cartoon snake than some boring patterns, so I’m afraid my colouring book collection has not expanded. However I do find it strange that one minute colouring in can be seen as inappropriate and childish, and then the next is a big trend that people are being encouraged to do. The reason? Mindfulness.

Whilst I can certainly get behind the idea of mindfulness, and agree that it is something that people should try to achieve, I have to admit I’m a little bit sick of seeing it everywhere. Mindfulness is “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.” It’s also not new, as it was an ancient Buddhist practice, although suddenly everyone has decided that it is the next big thing and the answer to everything.

Type “Mindfulness” into Amazon and there are 27,204 results. There is clearly a big business in mindfulness books, journals and colouring books. However, I’m pretty sure it is possible to achieve a happy state of being on your own. I like going for a walk when I feel a little overwhelmed, or get lost in a book. I haven’t read a book on mindfulness, and so will reserve full judgement until I have, but as you’ve probably gathered – I’m a little bit sick of seeing them everywhere. However, I’d better dust off my art supplies now it has been deemed acceptable to colour in as an adult.

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