This morning I have spent the day surrounded by paint and paper and watercolour pencils and crayons. It is a glorious way to escape the world for a few hours and surrender completely to a joyful absorbing task. To me it is one of the easiest ways to practice mindfulness.
Mindfulness describes being fully present in the moment. Being aware of what is and accepting it without judgement. Learning mindfulness helps us to find more balance in our lives through greater emotional equilibrium. We can learn to be less affected by the external environment. It can help us become more aware of our own negative thought patterns and enable us to replace them with more helpful ones. It can increase our effectiveness in our work and improve our relationships with other people. Small wonder we hear about it so often and see it used by coaches, therapists and business people.
There are many ways to practice mindfulness. There is a short but helpful document from the Black Dog Institute that is a great starting point. It suggests meditation, as well as practicing mindfulness during regular activities such as eating and walking.
My favourite way to practice is with some sort of happy creative activity. Choosing an activity that you do purely for the sake of recreation and allowing it to absorb your attention. Perhaps that is why it is easier. If it is a task you enjoy it draws your attention effortlessly rather than you having to try and consciously maintain your focus. I don't think it really matters what the activity is. Baking, knitting, drawing, painting or colouring in a colouring book. Its all good for you.
At last, something that is good for you that you can actually enjoy doing.