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One of my favorite ways to unwind is through coloring. It doesn’t take a lot of thought and it is almost always a Zen-like experience. I also find it to be a good activity when I am feeling a lot of creative energy but I’m not quite sure what I want to create. It scratches that itch.
Benefits of Coloring for Adults
There are many benefits to coloring for adults. First it improves your motor skills and vision because it actually requires two hemispheres of the brain to communicate with each other. The logical side controls whether we stay in the lines or not while the process of choosing the colors activate the creative side.
Secondly, it improves focus. The act of coloring requires a degree of focus but not so much that is stressful or headache inducing. In fact, stress tends to melt away during an activity like coloring because we are focusing on a relaxing activity instead of our problems or worries.
Finally, as I mentioned earlier, it creates a Zen-like experience as it has the ability to relax the mind and induce the same state as meditation, mindfulness, and peace. In fact, if you choose to color a little before bed instead of playing with electronics, you will most likely find that your sleep improves as well.
Finding Pages to Color
You can find all kinds of coloring books in stores or online. Some of my favorites include Adult Coloring Book: Stress Relieving Patterns and Balance from Amazon.com along with these Sargent Art Premium Coloring Pencils.
You can also find some great pages online that you can print for free. A few of the sites I have used in the past include Just Color, Art is Fun, and Super Coloring.
Further, you can extend your experience by creating your own coloring pages using a site like PicMonkey or even a tool on your computer like Paint. Sometimes it is fun just to draw a bunch of lines that intersect, print it out, and color in the boxes. You don’t need an actual picture of something to get the great benefits of coloring provides. Sign up below and I will send you several coloring pages to get you started.
Finding Calm Through Coloring
Once you find the pages you want to color and get yourself a great set of colored pencils, crayons, or markers then you will want to find a great place to set up. One of my favorite setups for finding calm and relaxation is to find a comfortable spot on the couch with not-too-bright lighting. Our house tends to be on the chilly side, so I like to get a cozy blanket to drape over my legs and a good cup of coffee to have nearby and then I use a computer lap desk for my paper. My other favorite spot is in bed with lots of pillows.
I try not to have any sound or distractions unless it is more natural like rain. You don’t want anything to distract you from the process. It could end up causing you stress instead of relaxing you. Also, I have found that I get kind of lost in time when I color so if you have somewhere to be later, you may want to set an alarm so you don’t lose track.
It may seem kid-like but coloring as an adult really does work to relieve stress. I have used it time and time again to unwind and relax and I always feel better afterwards. And one of the best things about it is that it doesn’t take a lot of skill and there is no wrong way to do it. You don’t have to be a creative person. Just pick a page, grab a colored pencil, and have at it.