Coloring Therapy – How a Coloring Book and Crayons Can Help Dissolve Stress
Remember when you were a child, lying on your tummy on the floor, coloring book open, crayon in hand with the other crayons spilling out of the box? Can you remember the sense of peace and enjoyment you felt while you were painting? Why not consider revisiting this favorite childhood pastime to help during those times when you find yourself feeling on edge.
Coloring is one of the best forms of meditation
For many of us, when we think of coloring, we connect to the innocence of childhood and a time when we were not burdened by responsibility and expectation. Picking up a crayon once again can help us reconnect to a sense of simplicity we have temporarily lost.
You could think of coloring as letting your inner child come out and have a fun time, or you could think of this activity as a form of meditation. Choosing colors and the gentle, repetitive motion of your hand as you bring color to paper helps quiet your mind – bringing your usual rapid-fire thoughts down to a much slower pace.
Now that you're an adult, there are no limits
Not only can you now give yourself permission to color outside the lines, you can keep your coloring as simple, or get as sophisticated, as you want.
For less than $ 10 you can buy a jumbo coloring book and a box of Crayola crayons. There is nothing like the smell of new crayons and getting reacquainted with your favorite color as well as opening a fresh coloring book and looking through all the possibilities before choosing your first page to color.
(You can also search the Web for the many sites which offer free, printer-friendly coloring pages.)
You may find that you have outgrown crayons and want to color using something with a different texture and a different feel. Pencil crayons and felt pens are an affordable alternative. But you may want to spend a bit of extra money and try colored pencils, Conte Crayons, oil pastels, pastels or watercolor pencils.
These days, many coloring books are used to market and promote children's movies or TV cartoon characters. Finding books containing basic illustrations of flowers, food, animals, etc are a bit more difficult, but not impossible. Themed coloring books are often best sellers.
Also, if you feel the need to bring some intellectual stimulation to your painting time, there are several coloring books containing illustrations of the anatomy. It is said, one of the most effective ways medical students learn about the intricacies of the human body is by coloring detailed illustrations of various body parts.
Want to get a little risqué? There are also adult-themed coloring books as well.
To make coloring a true meditative and spiritual experience seek out a pre-made mandala design or create your own to color. Mandalas are complex, symmetrical geometric designs which draw the eye toward the center. Many religions use mandalas as a means of connecting the self to a higher power. Within Buddhism, mandalas are created as sacred places which, by their very presence, remind a viewer of the vastness of sanctity in the universe and its potential with in his or her own life. Creating a mandala is said to be a very powerful and sacred experience.
Think of coloring as a creative quick-fix
We all love to create. However, for some of us, painting and / or drawing is not our forte. And for those who do enjoy painting and / or drawing, sometimes it's difficult to find the time to begin a project. Coloring is the perfect creative quick-fix for anyone. It's a time to experiment with color and to express your moods with color in an effortless, convenient and affordable way.
Coloring along children can be inspiring. How about inviting a friend or two over for tea and some coloring time? And for any artists who are feeling a bit burnt out working in their usual medium, why not use coloring as a way to rejuvenate your creativity?
More than just as a stress reliever
Coloring is being used in formal theatrical settings such as eye-hand coordination development and to help heal victims of trauma. Regardless of your needs, there is so much to be gained by spending some time coloring.