Can you remember the sense of peace and enjoyment you felt coloring as a child?
Can coloring really help me relax?
From choosing colors to the gentle, repetitive motion of your hands as you bring color to paper, coloring can be seen as a form of “active mediation”. Oftentimes when you think of meditation you think of sitting still for a long period of time. With active meditation it is just the opposite. Repetative motions such as coloring (or running, walking, dancing or even drawing) can help strengthen your focus and easily shift your attention back to a relaxed state. Stressful thoughts and future worries can be simply pushed aside as you take time to enjoy the present. When is the last time you have done this for yourself, or have you ever?
Start the session with a smile. Don’t skip this step just because it sounds a little silly. In fact, studies have proven that smiling even when you are not happy can raise your level of endorphins (mood enhancing chemicals) in your brain. So, start smiling!
Find something to color. Any coloring book will do, or print out a mandala. Mandalas are complex, symmetrical geometric designs that have no beginning or end. They are fun to color and beautiful to look at once done. Check out colormandala.com to print your own mandala to color, create your own to print, or even "color" one online using your computer. For even more mandala coloring choices visit free-mandalas.net
Choose your coloring supplies. You can use cranyons, colored pencils, markers or even chalk. Do not think too much about the colors you are selecting. Let the colors choose themselves. You will be amazed at the color combinations when you are done.
Allow yourself to experience the movements, hear the sounds of the cranyon on the paper, or feel the marker glide across the page. As thoughts, pictures or worries pop into your head simply acknoledge thema nd return your focus to coloring. Coloring will always bring you back. With a little practice you will find that you can achieve a deeply relaxed state easily while coloring.
Grab your supplies, find a quiet space and enjoy this peacful pastime!