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7 Amazing Benefits of Coloring for Adults

7 Amazing Benefits of Coloring for Adults

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve no doubt heard that coloring is making a huge comeback in the adult world. No longer are crayons and colored pencils solely the instrument of the elementary school artist — professionals and parents from all walks of life are realizing the benefits of sitting down with a good old fashioned coloring book. But coloring is more than just a hobby or way to spend a Sunday afternoon, it can actually benefit your life in a variety of ways.

1. You’ll work through your issues

Let’s be serious: Everyone has something major looming over their head at some point in their lives that they wish would just go away. While coloring won’t simply make your problems disappear, it will certainly put them on hold for the time being. Famed psychotherapist Carl Jung recommended coloring mandalas to his patients, as he believed they represent the “inner process by which individuals grow toward fulfilling their potential for wholeness.” Even though coloring has only recently made a comeback in the adult world, art has been used therapeutically for centuries.

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2. You can be social while coloring

As the new fad becomes increasingly popular, more and more people are having parties centered around the art of coloring. As it’s not an incredibly exhausting activity, it can be done while conversing with friends and taking sips of your favorite adult beverage. Even though everyone at the get-together works on their own picture, everyone feels as if they are working together on a single, much larger project.

3. You’ll have reduced stress

Like I said, coloring isn’t exactly a strenuous activity. With a crayon or colored pencil in hand, it’s easy to let all your cares and worries drift away. Not only is coloring a great meditative activity that rests the mind while engaged with a picture, but it’s also been shown to reduce a person’s overall stress levels. It also reduces a person’s overreaction to stressful situations in the future.

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4. You’ll focus more

Even though coloring isn’t an incredibly demanding activity, it still requires your focus and attention while engaged with a picture. Ironically, because you become so focused on the task at hand, you actually are able to drift away even more. All outside factors take a backseat to the task at hand, which is creating a beautiful piece of artwork. It’s also a great way to escape the business of daily life, things like ringing cell phones and blaring television sets.

5. You’ll express yourself

Coloring is an individual activity, but it’s also a great way to express yourself. Whether you realize it or not, when you color, you create something that was not there before using only the powers of your own mind. No other person would have used the exact same colors or the exact same technique as you had when you sat down to color in that previously blank piece of paper. Your creation is an extension of your mind and body, which, when you think about it like that, is incredibly profound.

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6. You’ll enhance your abilities

Like I said, coloring requires focus and attention. But while focusing on the paper mentally, you also have to use your sense of sight in conjunction with your fine motor skills. Doing so allows both hemispheres of your brain to communicate, making connections that strengthen a variety of abilities within your mind. In fact, it’s been posited that coloring may delay, and perhaps even prevent, dementia in the elderly.

7. You’ll have homemade home decor

While everything else on this list is pretty profound and relates directly to your emotional, social, and mental health, it’s definitely worth noting that when you color, you create beautiful artwork that should be displayed proudly. I don’t just mean you should put it on the fridge as a tongue-in-cheek nod to your childhood, either. There’s no reason you shouldn’t display your artwork on your walls to add to the beauty of your home. You can even frame your best work if you want to make it look more professional. Like I said, your work is incredibly unique: flaunt it as best you can!

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Featured photo credit: Coloured pencil / Johann Dréo via farm4.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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