How to Practice Mindfulness Through Craft
Sandra Owen is a Creative Teacher, Grief Recovery Method Specialist, and Woodwind Tutor. She runs creative courses and workshops with a self-development focus, using recycling craft as a teaching medium. We’ve asked Sandra to explain to us what the term ‘mindfulness’ means to her, why it is important, and how it can be applied within our lives through creativity.
Find out more about Sandra Owen in her Meet the Maker post.
Download a free mandala colouring template by Sandra for free using the button below!
What is Mindfulness?
The term ‘mindfulness’ can be defined as a state of conscious mental, physical and emotional awareness of the present moment. Mindfulness is about taking your attention away from the world around you and focusing on the world within you. Many people are so caught up in the hustle and bustle of daily life that they don’t spend enough time, if any, being consciously aware of their thoughts and feelings in the present moment.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to finding inner calm and peace. For some walking in nature works best, for others it may be gardening, driving or simply sitting still and focusing on their breathing. For me, one of the easiest ways to find that mindful state of peace and calm is to do something creative.
Why is it important to practice Mindfulness?
Taking time to be mindful of yourself and your feelings is vitally important. Creative art naturally shifts your attention away from life’s problems, by naturally creating a state of present awareness as your mind and body become centered and focused. As you relax, yet remain in a state of playful, focused concentration so you don’t fall asleep, in order to find the tranquility and calm you’ve been searching for.
I run creative, self-discovery workshops, and can testify that all attendees feel happier, more confident, and more relaxed as a result of taking time to reignite and reconnect with their innate creative imagination again.
What specific crafts are especially good at aiding mindful thought?
Crafting in general is helpful at aiding mindful thought so long as you are enjoying it. Some people love knitting and scrapbooking, while others prefer wood-turning or sculpting with clay. Play is vitally important to human well-being.
The interest in adult colouring books has boomed in recent years, as more and more people are discovering this relatively inexpensive method of restoring calm to their mind and paying attention to their feelings. Mandalas and geometric patterns in particular are complex enough to aid concentration, yet not so complicated that they required excessive thought.
Colouring and crafting can help you to relax your mind and body, literally creating space to reorganize your thoughts, rebalance emotionally and recharge your mental and physical batteries. Taking time each day to refocus your attention from outside to in allows solutions to flow easily and naturally.
My work involves combining creative art and craft, incorporating recycling materials, and personal development in a fun and engaging way. As attendees literally transform trash and unwanted items into beautiful projects, they are also transforming themselves. Opening their mind to the potential and possibility within themselves and the world around them, whilst also boosting self-confidence and self-belief.
For more mandala action, Sandra’s planner, ‘My Creative Life: A 12-Month Creative Planner for All Ages’ is available for purchase on Amazon.