It shouldn’t be hard to focus on the breath, its just breathing right? When you’re just starting out on your mindful meditation journey this can seem the hardest thing in the world. A million things keep racing around in our heads, “How early shall I leave to make my meeting?” “Mustn’t forget to book the kids swimming class”; it can feel impossible to stay focused or switch off.
We’ve all been there.
Before your frustration leads to you giving up, even though you may have barely gotten started, consider perhaps an alternative approach to bringing your attention to the present moment and focusing your concentration; a way of conditioning yourself and your brain to quieten down in that elusive pursuit of calm.
By combining the mindful meditative approach (being conscious of your surroundings) with creative activity (drawing, painting, doodling, colouring, crafting) you start to experience the same benefits as sitting in quiet contemplation – creative mindfulness. Take drawing as one such example, a naturally mindful activity that teaches us to anchor our attention and increase our capacity for engaging with our environment; investing in the time to draw also gives us permission to turn down the volume on our daily distractions – just for a moment – and focus solely on the interaction of pencil or ink on paper.
Whilst proven to help boost relaxation, happiness and give cognitive benefit, few of us engage regularly in any sort of creative activity. Doodling during a meeting or whilst on the phone is perhaps the nearest many of us have come to creativity for years. Yet there is no reason, other than that of self judgment and fear, that any of us can not engage in the art of drawing.
Armed with the right know how and increased confidence, creating spontaneous and uncensored marks at speed, drawing with scissors and paper or working with extended focus to develop and deepen your engagement with the world can be built upon to help bring drawing to your regular ‘de-stress’ arsenal.
If you’re interested in giving drawing a go and learning techniques that will allow even the most creatively cautious among you to embrace creativity, come and join us on our ‘Mindful Sketch’ workshop on Saturday 21 April.
We hope to see you there.