Are you weighed down by life’s struggles? Are you fatigued by the daily 9:00-5:00 grind of your job? Are you fatigued just by getting to your job? Is your spouse in his/her weekly “mood”? Are the kids wearing down your emotions to the point where you just want to hurl the baby monitor through the window? Do you participate in any activities whatsoever that require you to leave the house? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then allow me to diagnose your problem: you are stressed.
Now allow me to tell you exactly what you can do to relieve your stress. Ready for it? . . . Color. Yes, color. In case you don’t get out much and haven’t been keeping up with what’s in style in the big wide world, coloring has become quite the popular trend lately. People stressed out of their mind with life’s problems are quickly realizing the power coloring has; the power to relieve your stress! That’s right, folks, this is no gimmick from the same man who tried to sell you a bottle of that “special miracle elixir.” This is the genuine, bona-fide, real deal.
Here’s what neuropsychologist Dr. Stan Rodski has to say about adult coloring:
“Coloring elicits a relaxing mindset, similar to what you would achieve through mediation. Like meditation, coloring allows us to switch off our brains from other thoughts and focus on the moment. Tasks with predictable results, such as coloring or knitting, can often be calming.”
One explanation concerning coloring’s relaxing facets is the back-and-forth motion we engage in, which in turn engages both sides of the brain while also turning off the part of the brain responsible for situational awareness. “Coloring is a great way to introduce yourself to the concept of mindfulness,” says adult coloring authority Tiddy Rowan. “One gets so engrossed in coloring, it’s an extraordinary activity. In fact, if you watch children playing with crayons you can see just how absorbing it is.”
Today, everything is so instant. A meal can be ready in two minutes. An app can be downloaded in seconds. Coloring offers escapism and allows you to slow down and pace yourself. When you sit down to color, you’re allowing your brain to focus on one thing and one thing only. No distractions, no noise. You’re using old-school pen and paper, nothing technological, just as when we were children.
Cynthia Riviere is a woman who manages a Facebook group for over 1,000 coloring fans. She strives daily to spend time coloring, and the effects are more than felt. “I realized that coloring makes my headaches go away. I concentrate, my breathing slows down and I move into a deep calm.”
When one looks at coloring’s roots, its relaxing affect shouldn’t be all that surprising. In the Buddhist culture, monks were known to draw with colored sand. After the image was completed the sand was then removed, symbolizing the temporary nature of existence.
In today’s modern society, stress is an undeniably large struggle. It grips us daily, and is often reluctant to let go. And if we’re not careful, it could ultimately be our cause of death. Pick up a coloring book and allow it to transport you back to yesteryear. You may be quite pleased with the results.
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