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People Who Love Coloring Are Happier And More Creative

People Who Love Coloring Are Happier And More Creative

Recently, I attended a TEDx event, and as soon I walked inside the convention center, I noticed a large table with a stack of paper in the middle, and to my surprise, colored pencils. A large crowd was gathered around the table, and people took turns filling the design on their paper with a variety of colors. I hadn’t colored in years, but joined in and was amazed at how different all of our pictures looked when completed.

Although I haven’t colored again since the Tedx event, it turns out that coloring has become a recent craze among adults.

Here are 8 unexpected things that happen when you start coloring.

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1. You’ll unleash your creativity

Coloring helps spark creativity. When you color, you can ignite your imagination. Since it’s out of your normal routine, coloring can help you think of new ideas and gain new insights. You can choose to fill in an existing outline with splashes of color, or you can color on blank pieces of paper. You can stay within the lines or color all over the page. Coloring allows you to tap into your inner artist and create.

2. You’ll enjoy it anywhere, at any time

Coloring is a cost-effective form of relaxation. It is much less expensive than a massage, and no appointment is necessary. You can color anywhere. No paper or colored pencils? Not a problem. There are even coloring book apps such as Colorfy for you to color on your mobile.

You might not be able to break out your coloring books during your work day, but don’t let that stop you from getting some of the benefits from coloring at work. David Wagner has suggestions for infusing coloring into your work day. He writes, “If you can’t get away with pulling out the coloring books, I want you to pull out the colored markers and hand-draw, in color, your data center, your network, your org charts — anything.”

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3. You’ll improve your concentration

Coloring requires concentration and attention to detail. Practicing concentrating on coloring sheets until their completion can improve your productivity in other areas of your life.

4. You’ll experience similar benefits to meditation

The benefits of coloring have been known by the medical field for years. It is reported that Carl Jung, a psychiatrist, prescribed coloring for his patients in the early 1900s, often using a mandala design as a template. Here are some printable mandalas for you to color. When coloring, you’ll practice mindfulness and be fully present in the moment. You’ll slow down from your rushed day.

5. You’ll improve your motor skills

Coloring requires the use of fine motor skills, the movements involving the small muscles of the fingers. Performing the small movements required to color also improves coordination and hand strength.

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6. You’ll find it may help decrease stress and anxiety

“Relief and healing can come from time out,” says Lucy Mucklow, an art therapist who designs and sells coloring books for adults. Another art therapist, Marti Faist, describes the benefits of coloring, stating, “I’ve watched people under acute stress, almost panic-attack levels, color and have their blood pressure go down very quickly.”

7. You’ll decrease negative thoughts

When you color, you focus on choosing various colors, then filling in the areas of a design. Focusing on specific tasks can help redirect your mind from negative thoughts. Having less self-defeating thoughts can greatly improve your life.

8. You’ll have the satisfaction of completing a project

Finishing your coloring project can give you a sense of pride. The feeling of accomplishment from completing your work can boost self-esteem.

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With all the benefits of coloring, it’s time to grab some colored pencils and let your inner kindergartener get to work.

Featured photo credit: sondem via shutterstock.com

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Dr. Kerry Petsinger

Entrepreneur, Mindset & Performance Coach, & Doctor of Physical Therapy

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

1. Understand Yourself Better

Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

2. Keep Track of Small Changes

I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

3. Become Aware of What Matters

As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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4. Boost Creativity

The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

6. Process Life Experiences

When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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7. Stress Relief

In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

8. Provide Direction

Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

9. Solve Problems

Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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10. Find Relief From Fighting

Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

11. Find Meaning in Life

Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

12. Allow Yourself to Focus

Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

14. Let the Past Go

I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

15. Allow Freedom

Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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16. Enhance Your Career

Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

18. Catalog Your Life for Others

No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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