For the record, I adult coloured before it was cool. Now that it’s mainstream, I have to say, I am very excited about all the choices out there. I no longer have to hog my 9-year-olds My Little Pony Pages, leaving a red crayon’d signature “Mom, did this.” One must give credit where credit is due!
- It helps us connect with our inner child.
- It gets us off our phones.
- It engages and nurtures our right brain
But most of all it is an amazing tool to quiet the mind
When I was in the midst of anxiety, my mind sounded like a tape record on fast forward. It was filled with fast, endless thoughts, anxieties, and depressing thoughts. When we are caught in a toxic thought cycle, our minds are trying to “figure out” why. Why are you feeling this way? Why is this happening to me? How can I fix it? This endless chatter can create such an overwhelmed mind, with fatigue and even physical symptoms of stress. Sometimes we just need a break from it.
In my journey I found several surprising things I can do to give to quiet my mind instantly.
In the midst of a panic attack, I would sit down to colour and it instantly calmed my thoughts.
This is encouraging to some of us who feel we have no control over our racing thoughts, and as good as dealing with root issues and working hard to come out of mental illness is, sometimes you just need a break from it.
Colouring has an amazing anti-anxiety affect, because it calms the mind, busy’s the hands and gets our minds on the project and off our worries. It shows you that with little changes we can actually affect our mind for the good.
One of the best instant anxiety or depression busters for me was dancing. There were times where I would be so low that even music irritated me, and the idea of standing was overwhelming. It was until my 3-year-old, at the time, begged me to dance to his favorite song, God’s Not Dead. Reluctantly I grabbed his little hands, more for strength to get up than from will. I stood, melancholy, with a forced smile and reluctant engagement. As I began to follow this little man’s lead, he not only led me into an epic side kick, turn around, arm shake dance move, he led me instantly out of a funk.
We become so familiar with our thoughts, and anxiety and depression that we either lose hope that we will ever be free from this or or we simply get so used to living this way, we forget there is another way to think. The truth is, there is a lot you can do, and some of those things are small.
Music, a comedy, a brisk walk, a phone call to a friend, a bubble gum blowing contest, either thing can affect our mental state drastically if we will just give it a try.
One I thing I realize about mental illness, is that often we don’t even want to feel better anymore. People don’t understand why we don’t even ‘try’, but what they don’t understand is that their depression or anxiety won’t let them ‘try’ to get better.
This is going to be a great topic on it’s own for this week, but for now, know that this lack of desire to get better is usually the mental illness talking. Commit yourself to doing little pick me ups in the day and soon when you get a surge of joy again you will remind yourself that joy and peace is an option worth working for!
So who can you dance with or colour with today?