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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

More by this author

Dr. Kerry Petsinger

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

Feeling Stuck in Life? How to Never Get Stuck Again How to Find the Purpose of Life and Start Living a Fulfilling Life Don’t like your job? Here are some solutions. How People Make Decisions That Are Bad For Them How to Have a Successful Career and a Fulfilling Personal Life

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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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