I’ve talked before about my struggles with meditation; every time I read an article about a super-successful person, they seem to mention a meditation practice, but I can’t seem to find a way that really works for me, a way that I enjoy enough that I’ll stick with it (besides intense exercise, which is a form of meditation; but sometimes you just need to chill, you know?) Folks have gratitude journals and go to yoga three times a week and just sit quietly, paying attention to their own breathing and I just can’t get into any of it. But I keep trying to find new ways to get to that sought-after end goal: peace, calm, contentment. And I just found another that I might be able to jump on board with: coloring.
Ok, this isn’t exactly new; everyone loves coloring as a kid and I have a friend or two who still color for fun as adults. If you’ve ever seen a normally hyperactive toddler suddenly transformed, completely quiet, focused and concentrating as they color, you’ll see what I’m getting at. It’s relaxing, it’s relatively mindless, it provides a sense of accomplishment, and it allows your brain to concentrate on just one task, without letting in all the daily worries invade. And now, I can say I’ve tried it, and it works.
I bought one of those fancy new adult coloring books from Chapters (they’re suddenly all the rage); I picked one entirely of mandalas, beautiful Hindu symbols, just because I thought they would be pretty, but you can buy ones with nature scenes, abstract art, and pretty much anything else you can think of. I also bought a 60-pack of colored pencils, something I never would’ve thought I’d have to do as an adult. I picked a mandala that looked relatively simple (some of them are impossibly detailed) and got to work. You might be surprised to find this took me four days to finish (working on it for about a half hour every night):
Of course, there are a couple downsides: hand, shoulder and neck cramps from hunching over and concentrating on your work, but I guess most of us are suffering from these issues anyway. And, like any practice, it can be tough to find the time in your adult schedule of working and living to…well, stop and color. But it’s really fun and it does give your brain a break. And you don’t have to breathe into your chakras or find your center or anything to do it. Highly recommended!
Have you tried coloring to relax? Tell us in the comments!