Color your Stress Away
We all have moments of stress when the world is just overwhelming and we can’t relax and can’t let things go. Sometimes a deep breath isn’t enough to just help us relax. The last few days have been pretty intense for me emotionally we have had a lot of unexpected things happen that have taken a toll on me. I have plenty of go-to stress relief techniques such as deep breathing, long baths, a good workout and countless other things. These seem to be pretty typical ways to relax and relieve stress. I do have one more in my arsenal of tricks that I tend to forget about. I started while I was a student at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in NYC. Every once in a while I remember it and then vow to not forget about it again.
I’m willing to bet that most of you loved doing this as a kid. I know Annabelle already loves doing this. On the concrete. With chalk. Coloring. When I pick up crayons (I actually prefer colored pencils) and focus on coloring within the lines and making something pretty it helps me forget everything else that is bouncing around in my head. I tend to forget about my coloring but every once in a while I pull out my coloring book. It’s not just any coloring book, it’s a Mandala coloring book.
Quieting the mind while coloring can help those of us dealing with anxiety. You don’t have to buy a coloring book, there are plenty of websites out there with coloring pages and really any type of coloring will help relax you, not just mandalas. Click n Color lets you print our coloring pages and you can even color on screen if you’re more comfortable with a computer than a set of crayons. 30 minute Mandalas offers coloring books and downloads of mandala coloring pages that they believe will take about 30 minutes to color (hence the name) and they even update their downloads every once in a while.
Why color mandalas? Coloring is a form of active meditation. Meditation has been shown to not only lower stress levels but also reduce blood pressure, increase creativity and ease anxiety. Here is more information on the power of active meditation and mandala coloring.
So go buy yourself some crayons, colored pencils or magic markers print off some coloring sheets and sit outside to enjoy the sunshine and color your stress away. I’d love to hear feedback on your experiences with it! Have fun!