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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Stressed? Try Coloring to Still Your Mind




Why Color When You're Stressed?

Centering and Stress Relief

Quiet and Active Reflection

Puts you in a State of Flow

Coloring Q'Art to Quiet Your Mind

I've been using Q'Art~or quote art~as a form of quiet meditation for years. Years ago I traveled a lot on business and learned to take my coloring tools with me to relax in airports, hotels and restaurants. I'd get lost in a world of coloring in the midst of airport hurry and worry. 

Sure, at first I tried to hide my silly and childish coloring activity from the other adults doing serious adult things and looking extremely important. But over time I just let it be and openly let it be known I was a silly person who colors in public (despite being a very busy and important business woman....).

At the airport other business people would stare at me in wonder before asking, 'what are you doing?'.  

'I'm coloring,' I'd reply unabashedly. 

Despite my apparent 'serious lack of seriousness' for a business person 'coloring' in the airport~you could see the longing in these time-constrained people who wanted to join me in picking up the pens and losing themselves in a moment of quiet, yet colorful, reflection. 

There is nothing like coloring to give your mind and spirit a lift during a stressful day. 

A few short minutes of mental rest is all you need to retreat and renew your spirit. 

When you pick up coloring pens and begin to embellish a quote you naturally move into a state of flow and relaxation. And while you only need a few minutes to get into this flow state from coloring you can get lost in it for hours.

In a few inspired moments of coloring~your heart rate and breathing slow and become regular as the outside world disappears~you move out of your stressed and more serious part of your brain into your creative, and nonjudgmental mind and into a state of flow.

Q'Art~5 Easy Steps to Getting Started 

Quote Art is an easy and fun way to delve deeper into your favorite quotes, still your mind and center yourself.  Since many of you have asked  how to get started doing your own coloring (why should I have all the fun?) I am providing you the imperfectionist's guide to getting started. 

Here are 5 easy steps to getting started with your own colorful stress relief activity. 
The mind loves color so anything you do to illustrate your favorite quotes will help you absorb the message.

Hi my name is Susan and I like to color.....

Set Up Stress Survival Toolbox 

You can make it easy to renew your spirit wherever you are just by having a coloring toolbox with you that includes: 
  • Pencil with eraser
  • Black pen
  • Colored pencils or watercolor pens (start with a pack of fat bright felt pens)
  • Copy Paper  (or coloring book)
These spirit survival supplies don't take up much room and they travel well. You can create your own quote art with kids~the gurus of coloring play~or sitting alone by the pool, in the garden, at the office, the airport or easy chair. 

1.  Develop a Template. Keep it simple so you don't overwhelm yourself. I like to use ordinary copy paper (so I don't take myself too seriously) cut in 1/2 with a place for a quote in the middle and separate squares around to individually play with. If you are a perfectionist, use a ruler; If you can live with imperfection, don't. Once you have a format you like, make copies of your template to take with you anywhere to play with and calm your mind.

2. Collect Quotes.   You don't need to be a calligraphist  to create the quote. Just play with the lettering or use the computer to create the written word. The point is to do this in a way that is enjoyable, not stressful. If you don't like what you create you can erase it or toss it. 

3.  Choose a Motif to Decorate the Border. Sometimes I use geometric shapes with a repeating pattern and sometimes I choose to expand outside the lines of the squares. There are no rules that say you have to stay within the lines. Use pencil to layout your design then outline with black pen to create the pattern in each square.

4. Color and Embellish. Use the color pencils or pens to color in your design. Embellish with gold or silver pen.

5. Practice Playing. I consider everything I do as 'practice'. I have been practicing playing with art for 45 years. When you keep your eyes on 'practicing at playing' rather than trying to create art you'll discover it is much easier to leave judgment at the door.

Rest Your Brain and Have Fun

Now don't just sit there--go play. You know you want to do it! Doodle, color, and have fun NOW! You probably have felt pens, black ink pens and paper at your fingertips. If you have difficulty getting started, go find some kids to work with you. They'll show you the way to let go and create.

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For more than 35 years, Susan Meyerott has been helping people lighten up and step over invisible barriers to change one step at a time. She speaks to your heart, puts you at ease, and makes changing easier than ever before.

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Jean | said...

Sue, I feel lighter already, just reading this. Imagine how I'll feel when I actually do it; I just might float!

Susan J Meyerott, M.S. said...

Haha Jean! You are such an artist in photographing your food! I can see you putting food quotes with delectable dishes in yours!