This week for my meditation challenge, I colored.
And it was kind of awesome.
I chose this type of meditation because of the recent explosion of adult coloring books and the perceived therapeutic/meditative benefits behind coloring.
I looked up these benefits here and here, but to summarize, coloring helps us switch off our brains and focus on the immediate moment. It has been shown to help those with depression, anxiety, ADHD, autism, and PTSD create calm in their lives. It gives them a sense of control and predictability. It promotes deep breathing, a slower heart rate, and concentration. Coloring, as opposed to drawing, doesn’t require higher artistic skills, you just need some pencils or crayons and an outline.
As most people, I spent a lot of my childhood coloring, drawing, or crafting. I was always creating. In my adult life, I don’t create as much as I would prefer. Instead of focusing on art or music, I have to focus on bills, working, or making silly doctor’s appointments. Adulthood is a lie, guys. Really.
Anyway, it was nice to just take ten minutes every morning, with no music or noise, to just focus. Even with my simple coloring page, I felt more relaxed every day. I didn’t get too far with it, it’s very detailed, but I’m sure I will continue this type of meditation when I really need to focus my mind.
Of course, this method of meditation had its drawbacks (tee hee, pun not intended but a happy accident).
1. When I did occassionally color outside of the lines, I got more stressed because of my perfectionist nature.
2. There really isn’t any sort of “fade out” from this type of meditation. With chanting or music, you might sit for a moment in silence to take it all in. But with coloring, it just sort of stops.
3. People WILL approach you and ask what you are doing. If you have family around so try to find a place where no one will bother you. They may feel a little dejected but just explain to them that you need just ten minutes to yourself.
4. And lastly, 10 minutes just didn’t feel like enough for me. It felt too sudden when things wrapped up. I would have to do this for about 30 minutes to reap the full benefits.
Overall, this was a great week. I felt relatively rejuvenated and more creative. My advice is to do this when you’re completely alone or at a time when you know you won’t be bothered, use colored pencils because of the larger variety of colors available and no bleeding through (I learned that the hard way, learn from my mistakes), and to find something you find pretty to color.
This week, I will be meditating to music. Wish me luck!
Have a wonderful week!
(Originally published on TheMiniMeditatingDragon.blogspot.com 11/16/16)