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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 January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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