If you've been wondering what all the fuss has been about colouring books for adults, then prepare to be enlightened.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), approximately 350 million people worldwide - of all ages - suffer from depression. Depression can be a traumatic sensation because it is usually recognisable as a dulling of the emotions, where the sufferer ceases to experience pleasure in activities they would have taken pleasure from previously.
Instead, they experience a heavy, bulky, tired feeling where it's difficult to conceive of positive experiences. They also become prone to anger, frustrations and self-loathing beyond normal limits.
It is normal to experience negative emotions about ourselves, but it becomes a problem when these emotions are the primary focus of our lives, and depression hits almost as soon as the sufferer wakes in the morning, often making it difficult for them to do something as simple as get out of bed.
Mindfulness has become a buzzword in recent years that describes a meditative action, whereby the participant lives fully in the moment.
They focus their attention on a task or activity and fully engage their senses upon it - like colouring in a colouring book. The action of colouring doesn't require any deep thought. It's a rhythmic motion that doesn't necessarily involve fine motor skills, and it deeply involves the brain - offering a creative way to ease stress.
Mindfulness is a form of meditation - a non-judgmental activity that helps depression sufferers practice observing events without criticism.
Mindfulness allows us to be aware of the feelings we are experiencing - such as anger, sadness, or even disappointment at how our own behaviour has let us down - and observe it almost as if it were happening to someone else.
We tend to be much more forgiving of other people than we are of ourselves, which helps reflect that acceptance back on us. Acceptance is the first key to unlocking happiness.
Yoga is another form of mindfulness, which is under-utilised by many depression sufferers. Yoga is breath-centred because every movement, posture and structure is synchronised with the yogi's breathing. After some practice, it becomes natural for the yoga practitioner to notice when their attention has become distracted and bring it back to the task at hand.
By being able to become ware whenever your attention is diverting to somewhere else and by recognising the moments when your thoughts become dominated by negative things, you will slowly be able to catch yourself at those crucial moments and prevent yourself from going the downward spiral of negativity.
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