Coloring to relax and be more mindful

Coloring to Relax and be more Mindful

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During the month of February to celebrate American Heart Month, I try to find something that helps me relax and be more mindful. I have been reading that a coloring book might help me be more relaxed and mindful. So, I added a new activity to my evening routine: I have been coloring in an adult coloring book!

Here’s why I love it:

Coloring helps me relax.

Coloring changes my focus from the activities of the day to the world I am coloring. I am less distracted because I am creating a something new. And, unlike reading a book, I am not getting caught up in someone else’s story, but am rather creating my own “story” of sorts. I find that after coloring for a while, my thoughts feel less jumbled.

Coloring to Relax

Coloring helps me enjoy the present moment.

Mindfulness, according to UC Berkeley, is “maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment.” The act of mindfulness has increased in popularity in part due to the University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Center for Mindfulness, which focusses on stress reduction.

Coloring boosts my creativity.

This aligns with the recommendations made in Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way. During Julia’s program, she recommends that you, once weekly, go on an “artist date.” This is a time to try an artistic activity at to boost creativity.

Coloring gives me creative license to color outside the lines.

I know. A coloring book is supposed to do the opposite, right? In my experience, I feel ownership over the work. Therefore, it is my choice to color inside – or color outside- the lines.

Coloring reminds me of my childhood.

Play is incredibly important for adults. According to Margarita Tartakovsky, an Associate Editor at Psych Central, “play brings joy. And it’s vital for problem solving, creativity and relationships.”

Have you tried coloring to relax and be more mindful?

Let me know how it makes you feel!

© 2017 Caitlin W Howe, LLC
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  • Anne

    I love coloring ! I discovered this at Christmas time when I bought several adult coloring books for gifts and kept one for myself, it is relaxing and releases creative energy!

    • Yes! Glad you think so too. I love those gifts that you like so much you get one for yourself. Thanks for sharing.