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Coloring isn’t for Kindergarten anymore.

March 28, 2016

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Coloring can help you cope better with life. Mandalas have helped people to find their inner zen. Mandalas can help focusing attention, establish a sacred space, and as can be a benefit to meditation.  try your hand at coloring and see what it can do for you. There are so many books out there to color, one would wonder what it is all about.  Some are Mandalas and some are just intricate designs.  Sometimes there is a cross to Zentangles.

Art can help you cope with life better. One study in 2006 found that mindfulness art therapy for women with cancer helped to significantly decrease symptoms of physical and emotional distress during treatment. People with cancer can feel the disease has taken away their control and feel overwhelmed. Engaging in the creative process helps people feeling control as well as creative. It is helpful for those with depression, dementia, anxiety, and PTSD. The world is at your finger tips and you don’t need to be an artist.  You can use pencils, markers, crayons etc. to color. You can download images from the Internet or you can buy some of the many books.  Coloring is like the difference between listening to music and learning how to play an instrument
and performing.

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Start with a smile. Don’t skip this step. Smiling even when you aren’t happy can raise your
level of endorphins which are mood enhancing chemicals in your brain. Any coloring can also bring endorphin release which is why this works for stress relief and meditation. You may choose to make or color mandalas which are repetitive patterns.

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For those of you who want to do their “own” thing, there is Zentangle.  Zentangle uses repetitive, basic patterns.  These are done on 3×3 size tile of paper.  It can be with color (pencils, markers or crayons) or black and white (different size pens and pencils to shade).  Zentangle can be complicated but you can just start with finding patterns or books with patterns.  You can shut out the noise and busyness around you and focus on the tile.  Shapes and colors will delight you as you explore this space and time.  Allow your body to relax and focus on what you are doing with your hand.  Start with a dot in each corner and connect the dots to make a frame.  Begin to draw inside the tile and create patterns.  You can find the basic ones on the Internet.  It is amazing that you will see themes begin to emerge as you do more of these tiles.  Zentangle helps people relax for sleep or settle down a children or adults as well as relieve anxiety.  This is doodling with a purpose. Zentangle was founded by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas and is copyrighted.

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I wanted to share some of the ways I have been able to relax and find peace.  Hopefully you too can use these as to meditation and peace.  For some people these are forms of meditation.  For some people these are just fun and relaxing.  If you feel you artistic or you feel you aren’t artistic, you can still benefit from coloring. It works for all ages.  It works with expensive or inexpensive art medium.  It is about being mindful of what you are doing and feeling good about what you have accomplished.

 

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