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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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How to Keep Yourself Awake at Work Without Caffeine

How to Keep Yourself Awake at Work Without Caffeine

Keeping yourself awake at work can be a real challenge when you’re bored, exhausted or sleep-deprived.

But before you reach for that can of Red Bull, bottle of Mountain Dew, or pot of coffee, try these healthy remedies to stimulate your 5 different senses and help you stay awake at work:

Sight – Visual Stimulation

The first thing you do when you wake up is opening your eyes, so your visual stimulation is very important to keeping your energy level high.

1. Maximize your exposure to light.

Your body’s internal rhythm is regulated by the amount of light you receive. The greater your exposure, the more alert you will feel.

Open the shades and let in the sunlight. Step outside or look out the window. Turn on all the artificial lights in your office or around your work space.

2. Exercise your eyes (or give them a break).

Roll your eyes up and down, side to side and diagonally. Rotate them clockwise and then counterclockwise. Squeeze them shut and then open them wide. Do this several times.

Reading and sitting in front of a computer screen for long periods can lead to eye fatigue.

Take regular breaks with deliberate blinking and looking out into the distance.

3. Take note of your environment.

Learn to enjoy people-watching. Observe their activities, speech, body language and interactions with others. Notice the details of building, trees and other objects around you, including their color, shape and size.

By doing this, you’re not only relaxing your eye muscles but also calming your mind.

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Hearing – Auditory Stimulation

What you hear or listen to have direct effect on your brain. This is why we feel so annoyed and sometimes angry when we hear construction noise when we’re working.

4. Engage in conversation.

Talk to a friend or colleague. Trade funny stories. Discuss your business venture, a creative idea, the latest political scandal, or any other topic that interests you.

Practice mindful listening to what you and the other person are saying. Tune into the tone, volume and content of the conversation.

Learn how to practice better listening from this guide:

Why Listen to Reply Instead of Understand Is the Key to Failure

5. Listen to upbeat music.

Try hip hop, rock or jazz to keep you alert. Instrumental, non-distracting music works best.

Sing, whistle, and hum along if you can. Plug in the earphones if you must.

Smell – Olfactory Stimulation

If you’re feeling sleepy and suddenly smell the coffee, you’ll probably feel more energetic. This is why smell is an influential stimulation.

6. Work your nose.

Aroma therapists recommend essential oils of peppermint (to boost energy), rosemary (to build awareness), eucalyptus (to increase oxygen), cedarwood  (to activate your mind), and cinnamon (to improve your reaction time).

If you don’t have essential oils on hand, you can use lotions or burning candles that provide the same scents.

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Citrus like lemons, limes, grapefruits and oranges are also natural olfactory stimulants. Get a whiff of these citrus scents to stay awake.

Taste – Gustatory Stimulation

If you want an energetic day at work, you can’t let your tongue feeling plain and flavorless.

7. Have a good breakfast.

Start off with the most important meal of the day.

Think fresh, light and healthy: bran cereals, wholegrain breads, fruits, and yogurt.

Nix the heavy stuff like sausages, greasy eggs or pancakes.

Need some breakfasts inspirations? Check out these ideas:

20 Healthy Breakfast Choices That Will Save You Time

8. Drink lots of water.

Keep a glass or bottle of H2O near you and sip from it throughout the day. Dehydration can leave you feeling tired, sluggish and sleepy.

So make sure you drink enough water throughout the day. Not sure how much to drink? This can help you:

How Much Water Should You Drink Each Day (and How Much Is Too Much for You)

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Think that you’ve been drinking too little water? Try these friendly reminders:

3 Best Apps To Help You Drink Much More Water

9. Eat energy-boosting snacks.

Nuts and fruits (like bananas, apples and strawberries) are sure bets. Pairings with staying power include baby carrots with a low-fat cream cheese dip; celery sticks with peanut butter; red peppers with hummus; and plain yogurt with granola.

Avoid carb-filled, sugary snacks that make you crash and leave you feeling tired.

Here you can find some healthy snack ideas:

25 Healthy Snack Recipes To Make Your Workday More Productive

Touch – Tactile Stimulation

Last but not least, your sense of touch will make you physically feel more energetic and less stressful.

10. Splash cold water on your face.

Do this in the morning, during bathroom breaks and in the afternoon. Being exposed to cold water pushes your body to adjust and regulate its internal temperature, which in turn keeps you alert.

This works the same as you take a cold shower to increase mood and alertness. Take a look at this article to learn more about it:

5 Surprising Benefits of Cold Showers

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11. Use acupressure.

Apply pressure to, massage, or tap on the stimulation points of your body. These include the top of your head, the back of your neck, the back of your hand (between the thumb and index finger), just below the knee and your earlobes.

Watch this video to learn about the acupressure points you can try:

12. Get moving.

Move away from your chair and stand, walk, run or climb the stairs. Feel the earth under your feet. Stretch and twist. Do jumping jacks, lunges, push-ups and back bends.

And if you need to move more discreetly, wiggle your feet, bounce your knee up and down, scrunch your toes, or cross your legs.

You can also try some simple stretches and exercises at your desk:

Unlike addictive caffeine fixes, these remedies activate your senses, engage your attention, amp up your energy and prevent morning grogginess and afternoon slumps without the side effects or health risks.

Pick a few ways from this list of suggestions and practice them consistently. And when you do this consistently, you’ll soon see the positive results — a more energetic and productive you at work.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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