Coloring: A fun way to unplug and de-stress.

I’ve been doing something fun as a way to unwind lately – coloring!   

(<-- Yes, that's one of my masterpieces. ;)

Have you caught the coloring bug yet?  It’s taking off around the world and in every shape and form imaginable. Coloring books, coloring apps, clubs and meet ups – it really is taking on its own life force, and with good reason.

Coloring has fast become the new pastime. There are free coloring pages available on the internet or alternatively there are literally hundreds of beautifully illustrated coloring books created specifically for adults. Adult coloring books are created with intricate and detailed patterns as opposed to the large block style coloring in children’s books.

Why has it become so popular? 

Coloring allows everyone to create beautiful works of art, even if they don’t consider themselves creative.  Not only are they producing artworks worthy of framing, they are taking the time to slow their mind and focus only on the art of coloring. 

Coloring is actually changing lives. Bear with me here! It is being used not only by therapists and counselors to assist people suffering from mental health issues and trauma, and also by everyday people who have may want to use it instead of or in addition to traditional ways of meditation.

Akin to meditating.

Most people are aware of the fact that meditation can have resounding impact on your life. It has been used as a therapeutic tool to maintain balance and harmony in the body, mind and soul. As the art of meditating doesn’t come easily to everyone, coloring could work as a substitute.

Through the sensual process of putting pen or pencil to paper we create a connection and flow between ourselves and the unfolding artwork.  We touch. We feel. We focus.  We relax. We reconnect with our inner child.  And we meditate through the process of repetitive movement of pencil on paper.

The benefits of coloring.

The benefits of adult coloring are many, from inspiring inner creativity to be released without judgment, to helping you to remain in flow with the natural rhythms of your heart and soul. A study at San Francisco State University went a step further, and found that people who have a creative hobby may find it boosts their work performance. It eases stress and gives people back some sense of control over their lives.

Simply sitting quietly and coloring for a length of time is quite a mindful experience. We concentrate purely on the pen and paper in front of us, living in the present moment. Our cares are gone and we exist only in the flow.

Coloring is one of the few hobbies that you can take everywhere with you.  It requires very little effort to take a coloring book and pencils with you to use whenever you have a few spare minutes. Think about the stress relief you would get by spending part of your lunch break coloring inside the lines of a beautiful design.  And honestly, for me, coloring is about the process, not necessarily the outcome.

A shared activity.

Coloring is a pastime that can be enjoyed by one person, by friends or the whole family. Instead of watching television at night, imagine how much calmer and more relaxed the whole family would be if they spent 30 minutes coloring at the end of the day.  Everyone would not only thrive from sharing quality family time but each family member would benefit in some way by creating this relaxing and meditative routine without the interference of technology.

There are people who regard coloring as child’s play, but ask yourself this. When was the last time you felt unpressured and alive to color? We’ve seen how children respond to the activity. Feel free to indulge yourself in the experience and relive those carefree days, knowing that it is doing you good!