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Here’s Why A Coloring Book Is The Best Gift For A Stressed Adult

Here’s Why A Coloring Book Is The Best Gift For A Stressed Adult
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Are you looking for a way to relax or destress? Or, perhaps you are you looking for a fun and unique gift? If so, an adult-targeted coloring book may be just what you are looking for.

Why a coloring book for adults?

Coloring has been with most of us since childhood, but many of us as adults can rediscover the joy this hobby has to offer.

It all started in 2011, when a British publisher asked Johanna Basford to draw a children’s coloring book. Basford suggested that she should draw a coloring book aimed at adults instead, and she managed to convince her publisher.

The publisher ordered an initial print run for thirteen thousand copies of Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book. Since its release, the book has sold over two million copies worldwide.

Currently, six of the top 20 selling books on Amazon are coloring books for adults. According to the Huffington Post, “The unlikely pastime for those of us who have successfully graduated from kindergarten has been gaining popularity of late, as an easy means to express oneself and de-stress along the way.”

The Benefits Of Coloring For Adults

For starters, The Guardian calls them “terribly therapeutic.”

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“I’ve heard from so many people ranging from lawyers, financial advisers, business owners and busy mums, all say the same thing: that colouring in helps them relax. Then there’s people who are recuperating from illness or dealing with a difficult time in their lives, they too find the calming, almost meditative effects of colouring is beneficial to them.” Johanna Bradford

Coloring has been shown reduce stress because many of the books use geometric shapes and soothing patterns to relieve anxiety. Marti Faist, an art therapist, told the Baltimore Sun, “When someone is coloring, their mind and body are operating in a more integrated way. It’s almost a meditative process.”

Marti is not alone. Carl Jung was a big fan of art therapy, and he used coloring as a relaxation technique back in the early 1900s. Jung himself used to draw and color mandalas, or spiritual geometric shapes, every morning. These same mandalas are the foundation of a lot of the most popular stress-relieving coloring books today.

Coloring Books To Help You Destress

Today, there’re hundreds of coloring books for adults to choose from. The choices range from meditative Mandalas to stress-relieving options like Color Me Stress-Free. I am sure that you can find a coloring book to match your interests. Here are five of the best-selling adult-targeted coloring books to help you relax and destress.

Anti-Stress Colouring Book for Adults

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Anti-Stress Adult Coloring Book

    This series of coloring books has a specific focus: to help you destress in a work environment. It has been so effective that several Australian companies have given this book to their employees.

    The Mindfulness Coloring Book: Anti-Stress Art Therapy for Busy People

    Mindfulness Coloring Adult Book

      This is a fun and unique pocket-sized coloring book designed to channel stress into relaxing, creative accomplishments. Mindful coloring is a simple, yet powerful, practice that combines the proven, time-honored tradition of thoughtful meditation with the growing popularity of adult coloring. It shows that any activity, done right, can be an exercise in mindfulness.

      Color Me Calm: 100 Coloring Templates for Meditation and Relaxation

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      Color Me Calm Adult Coloring Book

        Color Me Calm is a guided coloring book designed for stressed-out adults. It includes 100 coloring templates including Mandalas, water scenes, wooded scenes, geometric patterns, wildlife imagery, natural patterns, and spirituality-focussed templates — all designed to help you get coloring and get relaxed.

        Color Me Stress-Free: 100 Coloring Templates to Unplug and Unwind

        Color Me Stress Free

          This is the perfect book for stressed-out adults who want to become stress-free. It provides a simple and inexpensive way to relieve stress with its soothing images.

          The Big Book of Mandalas Coloring Book

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          Mandalas Coloring Book

            The Big Book of Mandalas provides tranquility and a creative release with 200 customizable mandala illustrations. As you color in each mandala, your focus will shift, allowing you to fully relax your mind. Whether you’re new to the practice or have been using mandalas for years, The Big Book of Mandalas will bring you inner calm and maximized creativity, one coloring page at a time.

            If you are looking for even more coloring books to help you relax, take a look at 17 Colouring Books That Every Grown-Up Needs, Adult Colouring Books: 17 Of Our Favourite Books, and The Best Coloring Books For Beginners. These lists will help you find the best coloring book to match your interests.

            Adult coloring is a fun and creative way to decompress from the stress of your day. Buy one for yourself, or buy two and give one to a friend and color together. It’s a fun hobby, and once you start you’ll find it difficult to put your colored pencils and markers down.

            Featured photo credit: Photomarathon: Patterns/Maxime De Ruyck via flickr.com

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            Last Updated on July 20, 2021

            How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

            How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)
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            You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

            Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

            Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

            Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

            1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

            According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

            “Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

            Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

            Warming up

            If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

            If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

            Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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            1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
            2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
            3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

            Stay hydrated

            Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

            To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

            Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

            Meditate

            Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

            Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

            Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

            Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

            2. Focus on your goal

            One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

            Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

            Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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            Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

            If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

            3. Convert negativity to positivity

            There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

            ‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

            It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

            Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

            Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

            Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

            4. Understand your content

            Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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            However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

            “No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

            Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

            Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

            One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

            5. Practice makes perfect

            Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

            In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

            Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

            6. Be authentic

            There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

            Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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            Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

            To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

            With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

            Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

            7. Post speech evaluation

            Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

            Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

            We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

            You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

            Improve your next speech

            As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

            Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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            • How did I do?
            • Are there any areas for improvement?
            • Did I sound or look stressed?
            • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
            • Was I saying “um” too often?
            • How was the flow of the speech?

            Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

            If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

            Reference

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