Over the past few years Violet, my sister, has tried countless times to get me to meditate. I’ve tried everything from Deepak Chopra’s free guided meditations to Russell Simmons’ stillness as meditation concept – but the reality is that as much as try, I can’t help but go through my day’s to-do or wonder what else I should be doing vs. spending 10-20 minutes in silence. Meditation seemed useless, until I discovered adult coloring books.
It wasn’t until I opened the first page of my very first adult coloring book that I discovered how amazing it was to switch off my brain from all thoughts and focus on the filling in the small spaces of the picture in front of me. After about 40 minutes coloring my first page, all I could feel was this amazing sense of calm and self awareness. Any anxiety or stress I felt about the day ahead was gone. I realized, I meditated for the first time!
The Health Benefits
The health benefits of adult coloring book are very similar to those of mediation. Research by the American Art Therapy Association proved anxiety levels dropped when subjects colored mandalas (round frames with geometric patterns inside). Just like meditation, coloring also allows us to switch off our brains from other thoughts and focus only on the moment, helping to alleviate free-floating anxiety. For me, those 20 minutes of coloring help me start the day with a clearer mind, focused and allow me to be much more productive!
If you are going to start coloring, I have one tip: unless you plan to spend your entire morning coloring, know that it’s ok to leave the page incomplete. I’ve found that at times finishing one page can take over 2 hours!