Unless you are an artist, you probably gave up coloring back in elementary school. But more and more adults have taken up crayons and colored pencils and pens once again to color…not draw.
That’s right. These grown ups color inside the lines. They don’t create original pictures of their own. What are they coloring? Mandalas, animals, faces, doodles, flowers, and more.
Why Adults Use Coloring Books
Do you have stress, overwhelm, fear, or distraction in your life? Then it’s time to pick up the crayons and get a coloring book because coloring soothes these ills. Adult coloring books and art therapy have become popular outlets for those in need of relaxation, focus, and healing. CNN.com reported that the American Art Therapy Association, art therapy is a mental health profession in which the process of making and creating artwork is used to “explore feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety and increase self-esteem.”
But an adult coloring book is not an art therapy session. CNN.com quoted Marygrace Berberian, a certified art therapist and the Clinical Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator of the Graduate Art Therapy Program at NYU, who said, “Coloring itself cannot be called art therapy because art therapy relies on the relationship between the client and the therapist.”
But coloring does provide a variety of benefits to adults. Coloring allows you to be present in the moment—like meditation, which is necessary if you get stressed and distracted by information, emotion and task overload. Coloring can enhance creativity and focus. And it can help you visualize and imagine goals and dreams, which supports your efforts to make them real.
If you believe yourself to be artistically challenged, you don’t have to be Picasso to use coloring for healing, centering, creativity, and concentration enhancement. No matter your artistic ability or age, coloring help you manage your attention, quiet your mind, reduce strong emotions, and allow ideas to germinate.
The Power of Color
Coloring allows adults to take advantage of the power of color. When you sit down with your adult coloring book, consider the hues you use. Your color choices influence your results.
Chromotherapy, or color therapy, dates back thousands of years to ancient Egypt, China, and India. Its adherents believe each color has its own wavelength and energy. Color consists of light energy and, therefore, affects us on physical, spiritual, and emotional levels.
In the business and artistic world, branding experts, marketers, and graphic artists implement the “psychology of colors” in advertisements, product packaging, and more. This principle helps them deliberately choose colors to elicit particular emotions, moods, feelings, and actions.
You can do the same by selecting specific-colored writing utensils and coloring with the hues you believe will enhance your experience and results. For example, you might use red if you want to feel confident, courageous, or loving. Or you could use orange for endurance, cheerfulness, or enthusiasm. Purple gives you a sense of power and represents royalty or spirituality. (You can find many websites that explain the meaning and energy of colors, should chromotherapy interest you.)
Color to Achieve What You Desire
But I saw the value of coloring and wanted to put it to use in a practical and efficient manner for writers, like myself. So I wrote Creative Visualization for Writers, which includes a variety of opportunities to color (and draw). But these coloring pages are meant to help the “artist” to visualize a goal and focus on it. For example, you could color a page that depicts a bestselling book or a contract with a publisher.
When you focus on what you want, you increase your likelihood of allowing it into your life. Therefore, coloring a page that depicts something you desire helps you create it.
That’s why I suggest you color with intention. Don’t just color to color…do it to help manifest your desires.
Maybe you have an idea for an article, an essay, a blog, or a book. Maybe you’d like to find your perfect mate. Possibly you’d like to look fit and trim or become more creative or productive. Or you want to feel more peaceful or less stressed.
Help yourself accomplish these goals, bring your ideas into the world, by focusing on what you want to create. Color related pictures that help you think about your dream and feel what it would be like to have it.
Take advantage of the meditative power of coloring and colors. Allow your mind to focus on what you want most as you color. In the process, you’ll gain clarity, relax, discover ways to move forward, get inspired, and give your ideas and dreams a chance to gestate and grow so you can coax them into the world easily and effectively.
Have you tried using adult coloring books? What was your experience?
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