Sometimes it is hard to believe that the simple things in life can make an impact. But if you really look at the simple things you do every day, you can see the difference they make. Coloring is simple, mindless, and even quite a bit of fun if you let yourself get into it! With the craziness of life unfolding at all times, it’s important to take some time and give yourself some love and relaxation.
1. Give your Poor Mind a Break
Life has a way of getting away from you. You’ve committed to getting certain things done or ditching a certain habit. Or maybe work and finances are driving you completely out of your mind. (And if your life is just one peaceful walk in the park then keep it up! But come on now, we’re all human…)
Regardless of your circumstances, you deserve a break! It’s important to allow the brain and body to relax and just enjoy the moment. Unfortunately for most of us, that’s way easier said than done.
Coloring is an easy, and quick (if you don’t get sucked in!) way to unplug and unwind. Put your phone down, whip out some colored pencils, and grab a coloring book or print some pages off the internet. Get lost in the colors and let your mind get sucked into the flow of just creating. Sometimes it’s okay to let go, especially if you can walk away with a vivid masterpiece! All it really takes is a ten-minute commitment and you could walk away feeling bright and refreshed.
2. Stress and Anxiety Relief
The lucky ones out there have no idea how intense it can get, but those who struggle with it really know what I’m talking about. Anxiety freaking sucks! It’s like having a weight strapped to your chest, a pit in your stomach and being expected to skate through every thought and obstacle thrown in your way with a smile slapped across your face.
But really, it can be a real drag, and quite a distraction to be honest. And then there’s stress… these days, there is no escaping it, not for good anyways but there are things that help. Some need medication and therapy, while others are able to cope with their own mechanisms. (Always reach out to a professional if you need help, mental health is a serious issue.)
One way to start taming your anxiety is through coloring! I know it might sound silly, but allowing your mind to take a break and focus on something fun and productive can do wonders for your well-being. Let yourself get lost in the colors!
By taking a break from the onslaught of stuff we’re exposed to in our modern age, and allowing the mind and body to relax, you let your brain process in the background. It’s almost magical really, that if we just get out of our own way our minds start to sort out our mess. Other ways to do this would be spending some time with a good friend, going for a walk, or perhaps taking up a meditation practice.
3. Tricks Your Brain into a Meditative State
Coloring relaxes the amygdala, the part of the brain responsible for the emergence of fear. Thanks, brain! But fear isn’t all bad — it lets us know when something isn’t right and when to change directions. The key is to just observe and not let the fear into the driver’s seat. Meditation is often misunderstood as this big thing that requires lots of focus and mastery. That couldn’t be more wrong!
Yes, some forms of meditation are more complicated than others. But in simple terms, meditation is just finding a way to put your mind in a relaxed state, while putting your focus or attention on something else. The thoughts are there, just not your primary focus. Just acknowledge they exist and let them slide on by.
Meditation techniques can vary. Some choose to focus on a mantra, or a phrase you repeat while breathing with your eyes closed. Others choose to practice yoga or some form of the creative arts that lets them drop into a flow. Regardless, unleashing your creativity can be cathartic and healing, much like meditation.
It really comes down to what works for you. But what better way to start a meditative practice by adding colors to an already beautiful piece of art and making it your own?
4. Coloring can help Student Performance!
Students of all ages, including those always striving to learn more, often hit a point in their studies or projects where the mind just wanders. By training your brain to drop into a focused and relaxed state, the thoughts and chatter are reduced to mere background noise. It can also help improve both stamina and focus.
Coloring, by improving the mind through better focus and resilience, can improve performance. Students are under a lot of stress, especially nowadays with the changes in the system and the added pressures of the world.
Coloring, or some form of creative outlet, can allow for a much needed ‘time-out’ from the phone, the homework, and the ever-important social life. Doing so can allow you to jump back into your work with a fresh set of eyes and maybe a better attitude!
5. Coloring and Dementia
At this point, it’s not surprising that coloring would be beneficial to those struggling with a memory disorder. Alzheimer’s is a jumbling of the fibers of the brain, resulting in the loss of memory and personality. By exercising the frontal lobe, or the “control panel” of the personality, the progression of the disease can be slowed, or prevented.
The frontal lobe is the aspect of the brain that controls problem-solving, decision making, and accessing that part of ourselves we know as us — thoughts, memories, traumas, and everything in between.
Unfortunately, there is still no cure, but activities like coloring can allow the individual to relax and enjoy creating a beautiful piece of art. Watching a loved one struggle with something so challenging can be heartbreaking. It is important to be there for them, and helping them engage in something they can enjoy might bring a little bit of well-deserved peace and fun into their lives.
6. Psychological Benefits of Coloring
Being stressed releases a hormone known as cortisol. It wreaks havoc on your body, amping you up for something in a make-believe future. By allowing your mind to take a break, you are letting it heal and process.
Sometimes we need to filter through things and if we are sitting there judging every thought, the mind can’t do its job. Take a break… Your body and mind will thank you! Your future self will thank you!
Long-term coloring, or any form of meditative practice, can improve focus, mindfulness, alleviate stress and anxiety — while giving you strength and resilience to ward off all those negative thoughts. No more “what if’s” or “oh no’s” — allow yourself to let loose and color. Just go with it!
All you have to do is grab some colors, sit down, and create a masterpiece. Or something you wouldn’t even show your mom… But remember, the only thing that matters is having a bit of fun and actually giving yourself a break! We all need more of that in our lives. Sometimes it only takes stepping back to realize your life isn’t falling apart — but instead, despite what it may seem, your life just may be falling together.