Do you find yourself feeling stressed and tense, to the point that you feel you’re going to burst? Pull out a coloring book, seriously. What might have once seemed like a leisure activity for elementary school-aged children has now become one of the hottest trends in terms of stress reduction. Here are some ways that coloring can help reduce stress in your life.
If you’ve looked into cures for stress, you’ve likely read about or practiced meditation. In a mindfulness meditation practice, you work to alleviate stress by sitting in quiet solitude, observing your breath. By focusing on your breath, you can reduce the power of thoughts.
Similarly, coloring gives you something to focus clearly on. As you bring the colored pencil across the page, you can feel like there is nothing else in the world that matters at this moment. You might be aware of your concerns outside of this practice, but you can put them on hold. Instead, your focus can be on the moment and your process.
You can’t color mindlessly. If you’re trying to color while watching TV or talking on the phone, you’re not going to be able to focus on it and your work will suffer. In order to get the most out of your coloring book, you need to get rid of distractions.
Put your phone on silent and turn off the TV. Set a timer for about 20 minutes and just color. Focus on the page (or pages) you’re working with and just notice the sensations. Pay attention to the color of the colored pencils and how they feel on the paper. When the timer ends, you might feel motivated to keep going. If you do, listen to it. This shows that you’ve gotten in the zone. You might soon find that coloring is your go-to method when it comes to reducing stress.
Many people find that their creative endeavors help them feel less stressed. After a long day, some people like to pick up their instrument or write some poetry. You can make coloring a form of expression. It doesn’t matter that you didn’t create the images you’re coloring. The additions you’re making via the coloring can make for an incredible display of creativity.
Before coloring, evaluate your mood and how you would like to reflect that mood on the page. You might be feeling tense and want to use calming colors like light blue or gray. You might also be feeling angry and want to use aggressive colors like red to get your rage out. Additionally, you might not be sure how you’re feeling and use an assortment of colors.
Remember coloring is a tool for you to use. not an end to getting professional help if you need it.