Recently I learned about an easy “new” way to lower stress. Of course, I saw it on Facebook. A friend of mine created a group where people were doing this thing and sharing their results. I didn’t realize it was something you could do to lower stress. It just looked like fun, so I decided to try it.
After about 20 minutes of being totally absorbed in the process, I stood up to get a glass of water. That’s when I knew it was stress relieving. You see, I have naturally low Blood Pressure. Anything that is calming lowers it even further, which means when I stand up, I’m slightly dizzy.
Whoa. I had to try it on Frank.
So, after he had a particularly stressful day at work, I hooked him up to our blood pressure monitor (health coaches have these things) and had him give it a go. I measured his blood pressure after 15 minutes and after 30 minutes.
After 15 minutes, his systolic Blood Pressure Dropped 10 points and his diastolic blood pressure dropped 5. After 30 minutes, his systolic blood pressure dropped 12 points and his diastolic blood pressure dropped 8. That’s significant! Seriously. It’s the difference between high and normal for most people!
What is it? You’re going to laugh.
It’s coloring! Coloring for adults is rising in popularity and I totally get why. It’s calming – and it’s creative.
Here’s something about me. I used to paint with watercolors. I even won a blue ribbon at a county fair once (that’s a story for another day). What I can tell you about painting is, it takes some serious effort, dedication and large spans of time. It’s a wonderful creative outlet that I truly enjoyed. And, I don’t paint any longer. I think about it. I plan for it. But it just doesn’t happen. It’s not a priority. And there are few things as bad as feeling guilty about a half-finished painting. Been there, done that. More than once.
But I do love to be creative. And I love colors. Ever stood in front of the color sample wall at Home Depot just to stare at the colors? Yeah. Me, too. Feels good.
Coloring fills that creative niche for me. I enjoy it. I generally pick something I can finish in one setting, and I can choose any color scheme that feels good to look at and work with. I have found that I like abstract mandalas the best. They are fun!
I will definitely be adding coloring to my coaching program as a stress-reducer and joy-enhancer. It really works. If you’ve been longing for something creative that doesn’t take a lot of time or commitment and leaves you feeling joyful and calm, coloring might be for you.
Want to try it?
There are three free mandalas that you can download and print here – www.ColorBinge.com.
The only other thing you need to get started is colored pencils or pens. If you have children, you can probably borrow theirs! My first set of pencils came from Walgreens – Crayola brand! Then Frank bought me a beautiful set of PrismaColor pencils, which I love. They are the best. The colors are beautiful and they are soft enough that they don’t feel scratchy when I color with them.
There are also a lot of coloring books available if you don’t want to download images. You’ll be surprised just how many if you start looking! You can get them at any arts and crafts store and at most bookstores and, of course, online.
Now that you know about coloring, you are going to see it everywhere.
I recommend that you try it. Get some cheap pencils and download an image. The next time you are feeling stressed or anxious, sit down and color. It’s a much better stress reducer than watching TV and it’s better for you than two glasses of wine. With coloring you’ll sleep better, also!
P.S. Yes, I am a partner on the website. You can read all about that in the “About” section. It’s a fun story. Happy coloring!
P.S.S. Do you color? Did you try coloring after you read this? I want to hear all about it in the comments below!