Mindful colouring to support student wellbeing

Mindful colouring to support student wellbeing

Sharpen your pencils and your mind!

Mindfulness is something we’ve heard a lot about during the last few years. It’s all about focusing attention on your current activity (Brown & Ryan, 2003) and is shown to be positively related to psychological health and emotional well-being (Keng, Smoski, & Robins, 2011).

Mindfulness-based practices have been adopted in many schools globally, and these interventions are shown to reduce anxiety, depression and stress in children and adolescents (Kallapiran, Kirubakaran, & Hancock, 2015). Unfortunately, such interventions are often costly and demanding to implement (Carsley & Heath, 2018). The good news is that the simple act of colouring has been shown to significantly increase mindfulness and significantly reduce anxiety in students (ibid.)

Mindful colouring is broadly beneficial for students

Mindful colouring isn’t just about well-being, though. Research has shown that there are cognitive, social and psychological benefits for students, including improvements in working memory, attention, creativity, academic performance, mind wandering, stress and coping, resilience, affect, mood, anxiety, fatigue, emotional regulation, social and relationship skills, self-concept and self-esteem (Meiklejohn et al.; Zenner et al, 2014). That’s an impressive list! Additional studies demonstrate that mindful colouring improves student attention and problem-solving abilities (Holt, 2019) and is positively related to cognitive performance (Keng, Smoski, & Robins, 2011).

How to use mindful colouring with your students

All Stile X workbooks include 1 - 2 mindful colouring exercises related to the unit. We highly encourage their use to support student well-being.

  • If your class sessions run for longer than 45 minutes, a 5-minute brain break for mindful colouring between activities is a great way to restore energy levels and concentration
  • Use mindful colouring to settle students into class after break time
  • Fast finishers can use mindful colouring for short periods of time while they’re waiting for others to complete a task
  • Encourage students to complete any mindful colouring they started in class as part of a 20-minute study break at home. This is especially effective for reducing anxiety in the lead-up to a test or exam (Carsley & Heath, 2018)

Colour in to win

So, what are you waiting for? Get students colouring in Stile X. Not only will they experience a range of benefits, but they’ll also be in to win great prizes through our Art of Science competition. And there are prizes for you too!

Once students have finished colouring an image at home, they can submit it through the Stile X app by tapping “Enter the Art of Science Competition” and taking a photo of their coloured-in artwork from Stile X. No Stile X app? No worries. They can send their image to us at artofscience@stileeducation.com

We've also created a Science Week themed colouring sheet! Check it out here


Brown, K., & Ryan, R. (2003). The benefits of being present: Mindfulness and its role in psychological well-being. Journal

of Personality and Social Psychology, 84(4), 822–848. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.84.4.822

Carsley, D., & Heath, N. (2018). Effectiveness of mindfulness-based coloring for test anxiety in adolescents. School Psychology International, 39(3), 251–272. doi:10.1177/0143034318773523

Kabat-Zinn, J. (2003). Mindfulness-based interventions in context: Past, present, and future. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 10(2), 144–156. http://dx.doi.org.proxy3.library.mcgill.ca/10.1093/clipsy/bpg016

Keng, S.-L., Smoski, M. J., & Robins, C. J. (2011). Effects of mindfulness on psychological health: A review of empirical studies. Clinical Psychology Review, 31(6), 1041–1056. doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2011.04.006

Kallapiran, K., Koo, S., Kirubakaran, R., & Hancock, K. (2015). Review: Effectiveness of mindfulness in improving mental health symptoms of children and adolescents: A metaanalysis. Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 20(4), 182–194. doi: 10.1111/camh.12113.

Meiklejohn, J., Phillips, C., Freedman, M. L., Griffin, M. L., Biegel, G., Roach, A., … Saltzman, A. (2012). Integrating mindfulness training into K-12 education: Fostering the resilience of teachers and students. Mindfulness, 3(4), 291–307. doi:10.1007/s12671-012-0094-5

Zenner, C., Herrnleben-Kurz, S., & Walach, H. (2014). Mindfulness-based interventions in schools—A systematic review and meta-analysis. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, 603. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00603.