Have you have said that you’ll be in your fort if anyone needed or wanted you but hoped that they wouldn’t bother you because for just a moment you needed to shut out the world so you could focus on yourself? You are only one person and it’s important to take time for yourself, so you can feel renewed and refreshed to take on the world. Otherwise, you will burn out and then you are no good to anyone, not even yourself.
I learned this the hard way and it’s not something I wish on anyone. Imagine doing all the things and then one day, you don’t feel like doing anything at all. It’s no fun.
Coloring is a type of therapy, but it’s not necessarily art therapy. Art Therapy is something that includes you and your therapist and is a much more involved process. But that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from coloring to help you:
- reduce anxiety
- have more focus
- gain mental clarity
- take a break from negative thoughts and behaviors
- use an alternative method to meditation
- improve reality orientation
- foster your own self-awareness
- explore feelings and a host of other benefits.
Stress and Anxiety
One of the most amazing aspects of coloring is that it drastically decreases stress and anxiety. When you are dealing with insomnia or post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD occurs when a person experiences triggers that can bring them back into reliving a traumatic event. My hope is that you have the support of a therapist or another trained professional because PTSD can at times be too complex to just manage with coloring. Coloring takes the focus off the part of your brain that handles your emotions and is responsible for fear, the amygdala. Because coloring creates the space for you to focus, it can eliminate free-floating thoughts that tend to cause stress. In addition, coloring is relaxing, which produces the opposite effect of stress. For this reason, coloring can help with insomnia if done a few minutes before bedtime.
Alternative to Meditation
I am one of those people that when I meditate, I fall asleep. While I can still gain benefits from this, I prefer to stay awake and coloring provides the same benefits. Since coloring takes the focus off thoughts and provides mindfulness, it gives your brain a break – which is exactly what meditation accomplishes.
What if I told you that coloring can help increase positivity by creating something truly individualistic. Despite coloring pages that are already designed with patterns, people get to choose the colors, color intensity, and style of blending they want to use for their creations. Precise lines made from color pencils, markers and pens help create order. All of this, together, promotes happiness and a sense of accomplishment.
When I am triggered and am dealing with remnants of trauma from my childhood, coloring helps me connect with my inner child. That feeling of being a kid again helps me ease the tensions of daily responsibilities. In my own experiences, a lot of my challenges can often be traced back to events in the past. Often, current problems can be traced to the past. By including the inner child in coloring, people can reconnect with that child to begin healing.
Ever heard of, “Use it or lose it,”? It’s quite true actually as it relates to your brain. The more you use your brain, the sharper it can remain. And the sharper your remain, memory loss will remain at bay. The less we use our brains, the more at-risk we are for Alzheimer’s and dementia. Coloring can help to prevent or delay the onset of dementia and other memory-loss issues.
Something I tell my clients all the time is to take time off because coloring helps to strengthen organizational and problem-solving skills as it utilizes the frontal lobe. The frontal lobe is the part of the brain that’s responsible for focus, concentration, creativity, and logic. So when you take time off, you can actually be more productive. It has been shown that use of color gets the creative juices flowing.
It’s important to note that you must allow yourself to be in the moment when coloring to enjoy its benefits. It won’t do you much good to color while secretly thinking about other things or feeling guilty that you’re not working. It is important to balance your schedule between work and play or you will quickly find your inner child sabotaging your efforts.