Finding time to actively be in the moment is important for good mental health. Coloring can help put you there. By setting up a routine to create a focused experience, we allow our mind to shift gears out of out of the negative thought patterns in which we often get stuck. When we are deliberately focused, we experience a different state of mind. In this mindset, we are less likely to ruminate over things that happened in the past, or worry about the future. Life is richer and more rewarding when we choose to live in the moment. Coloring is a simple, low cost way to engage for a period in practiced mindfulness and possibly experience a brief moment of bliss.
- Coloring helps fight stress and elevates mood. If you are feeling run down and spread too thin, think about spending a few minutes engaging in an activity that forces you into a state of mindfulness, a non-judgmental state of focus in the moment. After a few minutes coloring, you will find yourself engrossed, in the flow to the finish.
- Coloring can help us to experience clarity of the mind. If you are trying to remember something, like where you put your phone (memory issues are often a side effect of depression), the answer will come to you later when you’re doing something else entirely. Something mindful, like coloring.
- The experience of coloring can take you back to the (sometimes not so) gentler days of childhood. It provides a bit of escapism from an overactive brain. When you’re coloring, you’re not really thinking about anything else. In that moment, you almost go back to being a kid again.
Below is a linked coloring page for your enjoyment and a book review from 6 years ago. If you haven’t colored in awhile, print this Birth of Venus coloring page from http://www.thecolor.com and run get yourself a medium of choice- crayons, markers, colored pencils- whichever you prefer. I loved, and still love coloring. The smell of fresh crayons, the fine tips of colored pencils, or that saturated tip of a fresh, fine-point marker, right out of the box, these put me on the path to relaxation. I love the first mark on a page, that bright shot of color, and a quite moment of focused flow.
After coloring, maybe you feel really relaxed. Maybe you want to read a good book. Maybe that Birth of Venus page you just printed and colored got you thinking about Botticelli and Florentine Renaissance art. Art History fiction is cool in that it sets a scene of possibility in an actual time and place. The Botticelli Secret by Marina Fiorato is The Da Vinci Code meets The Birth of Venus. An Italian girl escapes with her life after she accidentally discovers a secret while modeling for Botticelli. I even wrote a review on Shelfari about this book, that is how much I enjoyed it. Then GoodReads took over and Shelfari is no more, but that is a complaint for another time.
On May 28th, 2010, after finishing this book, I wrote: “I love this book- It had action; adventure; mystery; romance- I was skeptical for the first 50 pages, or so. But if you love Tracy Chevalier, or Fortune’s Daughter by Isabelle Allende AND also love a good Dan Brown book on the beach, (i.e. you love to read and aren’t a literary snob) then you, too, will probably love this book. It really draws you in with good pacing. The end is great, as well, and when I put the book down, my first inclination was to write Marina Fiorato and tell her that I think she is fantastic!”
Finding the coloring page for The Birth of Venus brought up a memory of that book and how much I enjoyed it. So color away and take some time to think about art and where it comes from. Like coloring, a good book can really transform your mood.
The Botticelli Secret by Marina Fiorato– check it out here!
*Next time you are subjected to a family dinner at Olive Garden or Applebees, ask for a box of crayons and pull out some home-printed Coloring Pages and go to town.
*A quick gift- a few coloring pages printed on quality paper, wrapped in a bow with a few fancy felt tipped markers.