I never had an outlet for me to calm down my negative energy, rage, frustration, or even confusion over the years. Although, one day I came across something I used to joke about – adult coloring books. Yes, these trendy, yet almost elementary coloring books I used to mock actually saved me in many dark times. It gave me a creative outlet, somewhere to escape my mind to, along with life lessons I learned within the lines.
If you are looking for a new outlet or activity I highly recommend trying out an adult coloring book of any level. I want to touch on a few life lessons that I learned through my books over time – and I hope they will touch you as well.
Life lesson #1 – Life isn’t perfect, and we will never be perfect. Appreciate the journey.
I have always been a perfectionist and will continue to give 110% in everything I do. Although, I notice that even when I do a great job at something I beat myself down and look at the little mess ups versus the entire picture. This translated into my adult coloring books in the beginning once I just started. There would be a few little sections of the drawing that I would devote a ton of energy to get perfect, not mess up the color patterns, or get outside the lines. Nonetheless, I would still find a way to get outside the lines. My contentment would turn to rage and frustration, and I would find a breath to stop the anger, and continue. I would get towards the end of finishing up the last blank spot, and admire my finished coloring page. You know what I found – you can’t even find the messed up spots.
Life’s little hiccups, screwups, and obstacles are only a part of the journey we will take. It’s that journey we take to reach the finish line of every task we do where we should be grateful and admire our positive energy and personal growth.
Life Lesson #2 – Colors reflect our emotions.
I noticed a common theme in a lot of my pictures that I have completed over time – and decided to use that to my benefit for personal growth emotionally. Days where I had a lot of rage or frustration, I tended to have colors that were more dark or fiery such as black, red, brown, and burnt purple colors. Then, days where I was very positive and calm were shades of blue and yellow.
Color therapy is something I STRONGLY believe in. I try dressing in colors to make me feel happy, calm, and comfortable. I even got my college to add a “relaxation station” that includes positive and calm feeling color therapy colors and color books for students to use during break times in their days. In addition, I also write down how I feel on the back of the pages I color – that way I know how I felt when I look back on my finished pictures over time.
Life Lesson #3 – Find an activity that feels like an escape of time and reality.
Coloring is something that I find soothes me and relieves me of the pain that I can feel. It’s my creative outlet to mess up, try again, and end up with something beautiful. It’s self-improvement where I can grow and advance from easy pages to complex, mini, hard to color spots. I can literally spend hours on a coloring page spending a tiny subsection of the whole picture – and be content spending my time on that. I encourage you to find an activity that you feel is similar. Maybe your activity is reading, sewing, gardening, or even puzzles. These activities are one of the best forms of self help in my opinion.
The American Art Therapy Association has put out an official statement saying it supports the use of coloring books for “pleasure and self care” but hopes coloring won’t take the place of therapy for those who could benefit.
In closing, I hope you will try adult coloring, or even if you are currently utilizing adult coloring books – let me know how you found them, or got into them 🙂
Have you ever tried adult coloring books? Have you ever seen a coping mechanism that you were resistant to at first but then eventually tried?? Did you enjoy it?