What can coloring really do for me?

In this post I am going to go over a few of the benefits of coloring.  But first, I want to invite you to join my Stop & Smell the Roses 5 Day Challenge!  Whoever you are, this challenge can help you relax and focus your mind.  Whether you are a high school student studying for a test, you’re on your lunch break, or are a full time mom and just want to relax.  How do we do this?

Coloring.  Yep, like in a coloring book when you were a kid.  

The challenge is 1 page a day for 5 days.  Try it and see how it  affects your stress level, productivity, and mood throughout the day.  Plus you will have some beautiful frame-worthy art to hang up in your home.

 

What can this really do for me?
 


Leave a comment really quick and tell me what it would mean for you to get more rest and relaxation in your life.  What would your day look like if you got more sleep?  What would you be able to accomplish if you were less stressed and more focused?  Let that be the goal that motivates you to do a page a day!  I love hearing from you so send a message my way!

Okay now let’s talk about the benefits of coloring… or really any form of art for that matter, and what it can do for you.  Here’s what Psychologist Gloria Martinez Ayala says about coloring for adults, posted on Huffington Post:

"The action involves both logic, by which we color forms, and creativity, when mixing and matching colors. This incorporates the areas of the cerebral cortex involved in vision and fine motor skills [coordination necessary to make small, precise movements]. The relaxation that it provides lowers the activity of the amygdala, a basic part of our brain involved in controlling emotion that is affected by stress."

And here’s a snippet from the Medical Daily...

“Research shows this form of therapy often has tangible results. One 2006 study, for example, found that mindfulness art therapy for women with cancer helped to significantly decrease symptoms of physical and emotional distress during treatment. Another study from the same year concluded that after only one hour of art therapy, adult cancer patients of all ages ‘overwhelmingly expressed comfort’ and a desire to continue with the therapy.  ‘People with cancer very often feel like their body has been taken over by the cancer. They feel overwhelmed,’ Joke Bradt, a music therapist at Drexel University in Philadelphia, told Reuters. ‘To be able to engage in a creative process... that stands in a very stark contrast to sort of passively submitting oneself to cancer treatments.’  It’s not just those with cancer that can benefit from the visual arts, either. Art therapy is also helpful among people dealing with a variety of other conditions, such as depression, dementia, anxiety, and PTSD.”

Basically, your brain is constantly working.  It is constantly going over things all day, trying to solve problems that you aren’t even aware of, daydreaming, trying to remember what it forgot earlier.

When you do art you go into a sort of meditation.  You know, zoning out?  It gives your brain a break, clears your mind, and is focused on the work at hand.  That is why you finish an art project feeling relaxed and calm!  It’s like letting your brain take a nap while you get to make something beautiful… Okay why are you not drawing yet?!

This is not art therapy, you have to see a professional art therapist for that.  But that doesn’t mean you can’t get some of the therapeutic benefits of doing art by getting creative!  Making something beautiful that you are proud of and other people compliment can help boost your self esteem!  When you get a feeling of accomplishment, that is your brain releasing a hormone called dopamine.  This supports the growth of new neurons and that helps you learn.  So get creating!  Feed that healthy brain with those neuron… things...

Another great thing about coloring books is that you have a foundation for creativity.  That’s the lines and images that guide you.  That means if you aren’t an “artsy person” you can still be creative, this just gives you a guide, but there are also no restrictions so even a professional artist can benefit from using a coloring book as a guideline.  It’s just to help get you started, but be as creative as you want!

Let’s recap:

  • Stimulates brain

  • Lowers stress

  • Relaxing

  • Artistic self expression

  • Healthy brain

  • Boosts your self esteem

These are just a few of the health benefits of coloring.  You get all that from just taking a few minutes to draw?  Awesome!

You’re probably tired of reading because you’re convinced and ready to color.  Let me just go over a couple quick things that will help you get the most out of your coloring.  This challenge is easy to work into any schedule and take with you wherever you go.  All you need is:

  • Coloring book

  • Colored pencils

As far as pencils go, you can't go wrong with Prisma Color.

If you have a coloring book great!  You're ready to get started.  If not, here's my printable coloring book.  Stop & Smell the Roses Coloring Book & Journal.  It's a $5.00 printable so you can print it off and start today!  Print it on card stock if you want a higher quality paper, or print it on regular printer paper, fold it up, and take it in your purse.  Here's a little more about how you can benefit from coloring specifically flowers and mandalas from my coloring book.

Why flower mandalas?

 

This coloring book theme is floral.  Honestly I only chose this theme because that is what I am good at drawing and it was already the theme of my other art pieces.  But as I did research I discovered Dr. Haviland-Jones’ studies on flowers and human emotions.  I learned flowers have a huge effect on people’s moods and mandalas are the best for achieving relaxation through coloring.  It was kind of a no brainer after that.  

Why not combine two of the best things for boosting happiness and productivity in a fun, creative way that will leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed?  

Flowers are such a natural way to boost happiness and calm and I was really excited to try incorporating that into the designs.  So here is the natural, floral theme mandala coloring book to give you the best possible tools for achieving calm and focus throughout your day, and better relaxation and sleep at night.

How to use these tools to their full potential

 

If you are doing this to relax before bed and help you sleep then it may also help to drink some chamomile tea.  Other than that you don’t need anything!  Just draw a little scattered throughout the day.  Do this before you have a big test, a work break, or before bed to clear your mind, relax, and focus.

I’ve also included in this course a music list for relaxing.  Listen to the relaxation list while you draw before bed, or while you draw before a test or project.  Make sure you don’t use any electronics and you work in a relaxing environment to get the full benefits!  Here is a list of things that will really help you get the most out of this course.

  1. Color either before bed, at your lunch break, or before a test/project

  2. Listen to calming music

  3. Drink a chamomile sleepy tea before bed

  4. Turn off all electronics before bed and don’t use them until morning or after break

  5. Be sure you are in a quiet, relaxing environment if possible

 

What’s in the challenge emails?

 

This is an email course, so I’ll send you a reminder for the next 5 days.  That means you’ll get 10 emails.  These will have a Spotify link each day you can listen to, an encouraging quote, tips and inspiration for coloring, and 5 free coloring pages to keep you motivated to do it each day.

These are all the things you’ll receive when you sign up for the totally free email course.  Plus, all that other stuff like relaxation, and a healthy brain, and a good night’s sleep - Enjoy!