Adult Coloring Books
At this point, almost everyone has probably colored at least one adult coloring page. The most you have to think about when coloring an adult coloring page is which colors you would like to put in which spot. Coloring each little section and staying in the small lines takes a little concentration, but concentrating on coloring can help take your mind off other stressful parts of your day. There is actually research online that backs that up. Type "how adult coloring pages can lead to mindfulness" into your browser and you'll find many articles to support the benefits of adult coloring pages.
What you'll need to get started: An adult coloring book which can be found in all different types of stores from grocery and drug stores to craft and department stores. You can also find free printable adult coloring pages online. Since most of the sections in adult coloring pages are small, you'll also need fine-tipped markers or colored pencils.
Knit or Crochet
Knitting and crocheting are great hobbies that can support mindfulness. According to Dr. Herbert Benson, who was quoted in this article in the New York Times, "the repetitive action of needlework can induce a relaxed state like that associated with meditation and yoga." The article is actually really good and has a lot of examples of people who have been helped by knitting or crocheting.
What you'll need to get started: Possibly a class to teach you the process or a really patient friend who can teach you, knitting needles or crochet hook, a pattern or book, yarn.
Paint by the Numbers
Like the adult coloring books, this requires coloring in small spaces. Unlike the adult coloring books, this activity tells you which colors to put where. It might not be quite as mindful as the other suggestions, but you should end up with a cute picture by the time you are done. If you're not creative or artistic enough to paint your own painting from scratch, this could be a fun, relaxing time.
What you'll need to get started: A paint by numbers kit.
Cross Stitch Patterns
According to an article titled "How Stitching Helps Beat Stress" on the My Body and Soul website, stitching helps to make you present and mindful, can help improve concentration levels and might even help lower blood pressure. Luckily, you can easily find a cross stitch pattern in a craft store or online. They range from tiny little kits to kits with patterns that are large enough to frame.
What you'll need to get started: Embroidery floss, fabric, a needle, a design chart, possibly a hoop or frame, a color chart. A lot of kits already come with everything you need or you could purchase each part separately. If you are a beginner at cross stitch, choose an all-inclusive kit.
Put Together a Puzzle
Although not scientific, there are a lot of people online who talk about the zen of putting together jigsaw puzzles. Christine Polk wrote in the Palm Beach Prosper that she had blended jigsaw puzzles with active meditation. And puzzles are often included in lists of things that can help keep your brain young and active, as in the article titled Keep Your Brain Active: 10 Tips for Improving Your Brain on the Everyday Health website. Puzzles, including jigsaw puzzles made #8 on the list.
What you'll need to get started: A boxed jigsaw puzzle and a flat space large enough to put the puzzle together.
So, whether you take 30 minutes to knit, crochet, color or cross stitch, try to take just a half hour a day for a little stress relief for yourself. Sounds like you'll keep your brain young as well!
What is your favorite way to relax and practice mindfulness?
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