Color Your Brain Happy

coloring page Tibetan

When we talk about good health, we talk a lot about food, physical activity and sometimes even sleep habits.

We might toss around ideas about stress reduction and exercising our brains to maintain faculties and ward off diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Perhaps you’ve also heard the current conversations on the downside of chaotic lifestyles that keep us constantly on the go.

For many of us, daily life is busy – too busy. And this can contribute to poor habits around diet, exercise, sleep, stress and brain health. Worse, because a lot of us relax by flipping on a screen, we’re further contributing to some of the trouble around sleep and stress.

What to do? My guess is you’ve caught wind of the coloring book trend for adults… if not, just know that over the past year, stores have increasingly carried coloring books full of intricate designs, and grown ups are raving about the loveliness of losing themselves in the hobby.

For a few months now, I’ve had “color” on my to-do list (ridiculous evidence of my own busyness). This past weekend, I finally crossed it off the list, but I plan to put it right back on there. It was incredibly relaxing and mood enhancing to complete the page pictured above, which is from a book I’ve had for years and barely touched. I received a book of mehndi designs for Christmas, and I plan to try a page from it next.

Why is coloring so enjoyable and even healthy as a habit? According to the Cleavland Clinic, coloring:

  • Takes us out of ourselves, becoming like a meditative practice.
  • Relaxes the brain and distracts from life’s difficulties because of its simplicity.
  • Is without consequences if we don’t do it perfectly, so is fun and not stressful.

My colorful friend up there isn’t exactly an amazing work of art, especially as I only used about eight colors and did minimal mixing and shading with them. It’s not about making something that looks incredible. What it is about is slowing your brain, using your hands and not relying on a screen to distract you from real life.

I can’t wait to do it again.

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