How to find calm …. when meditation is too much of a stretch
It’s a busy day. There’s lots on the agenda but you are handling it. All of a sudden your smart phone dings – your doctor wants you to make an appointment to discuss the results of a baseline blood chemistry profile.
Anxious thoughts flood your brain:
• Fear thoughts: I hope this doesn’t mean I have heart disease!
• Judgmental thoughts: I should have done better with my eating and exercising!
• Worry thoughts: If it’s serious, how will I handle my job and family responsibilities?
Anxious, you can feel your heart thumping in your chest and your blood pressure rising.
Meditation might help to calm the sympathetic nervous system….. but it’s too much of a leap to go from where you are – stressed and anxious - to inner quiet and calm. What else can you do?
Consider “grown up” coloring books
While it’s something you did as a child, coloring can be a powerful practice. Meditative, soothing, creative and focused on the present, coloring offers an opportunity to bridge the gap to calm anxious thoughts and supplement usual go-to stress relief practices.
Coloring detailed patterns to relieve stress
Coloring detailed patterns represents a rhythmic, repetitive action, which can be relaxing. Applying colors helps direct negative thinking to color pattern recognition – right brain domains.
A recent article in Art Therapy, reported that individuals who colored mandalas – meditative images – decreased their stress levels, compared to those who colored plain patterns or who doodled on a blank page.
Choose your favorite colored pencils and purchase a “grown up” coloring book from your craft or hobby store, or order online. And… who knows? By coloring to take care of stress, you may find yourself expanding into other forms of art and creativity!
• How does your mood change after you have colored a mandala?
• How quickly can you move from anxious thinking to relaxation?