I am always looking for ways to wind down / relax / stop the crazy obsessive thinking — see my post on writing meditation, for example — and recently I saw an article about COLORING as stress relief (Washington Post article on Adult Coloring as Stress Relief), and was intrigued.
I don’t know why I hadn’t been coloring more, really. I’ve always loved coloring with my niece or other kids I’ve been around. And from time to time I will free draw a swirl pattern in my journal and color it in … just for fun.
But I don’t do that anywhere near enough, considering how much coloring allows me to stop the crazy obsessive thinking pattern I naturally engage in, and forces me to be totally in the moment — and that is a huge goal of mine. When I am obsessed with thoughts of the past or the future, I am totally out of the present moment. And when I am not living in the present moment, I am not in a good place spiritually.
When I am thinking about the past, I am filled with shame and regret. When I am obsessing about the future, I am filled with worry and anxiety. UGH! Neither of those are what I want — at all!! I want to stay right here, right now, where I can appreciate the people or events actually right in front of me in this very moment. It is during those times, that I feel best. And isn’t that what we all want? To feel our best as much as possible? It is certainly what I want. But, I’ve been a past/future thinker for so much of my life, that I actually have to find ways to PRACTICE being in the present moment. When I’m writing, either on the blog or writing meditation, I am able to stay centered in the present. Running and/or CrossFit are other ways where I can totally focus on the present (see my posts here and here). And now, COLORING!
Today, for instance, I wasn’t feeling fantastic, so I went back to bed to listen to the Tim Ferriss podcast, and wanted to do something else at the same time (because I am a classic multi-tasker, Type A personality). Normally, I would have got on my phone, and looked at Facebook or Instagram, while listening to the podcast, but I realized today that when I do those things, I totally leave the present moment. I start comparing my self and my life to others and end up filled with either shame/remorse or anxiety/worry. NO BUENO! So, instead, I got out my coloring books and crayons, and created this:
Coloring while listening to the podcast kept me focused on the podcast, entirely in the present moment. And as a result, I got a lot of information out of it, and had a bunch of laughs at the same time. Plus, I felt totally relaxed, and began to physically feel better. It was a wonderful experience, and inspired me to share it with you all. I hope you try it. If you do, leave me a comment below.
I LOVE COMMENTS! Have a great weekend, guys!