Adult coloring continues to be a popular hobby for millions in North America and around the world. It’s not just about mandalas any more either, there are numerous options ranging from swear words, your favorite TV shows or movies, and of course inspirational religious books like our very own Soul Coats: Restoration. Not only is adult coloring a hobby, but it also has health applications, and can aid in spiritual practices as well.
As a spiritual practice, coloring can help you focus and meditate on things beyond the coloring page. It also has emotional and health benefits, especially when used as a tool to help de-stress and calm anxiety. It can also be a way to give you a tangible tactile experience in a world full of screens. Coloring provides that space we need to stop, breathe, and reset ourselves towards healthy choices.
Here are 3 powerful ways coloring can become a spiritual and healthy practice for you.
1. Coloring can destress and calm you.
In a culture where busyness is overvalued, we need more opportunities and intentional activities to slow down. The process of focussing on creating a coloring masterpiece can help de-stress and calm you. Psychologist Gloria Martinez Ayala states that coloring, lowers the activity in the amygdala, a basic part of our brain, that’s involved in controlling emotions affected by stress.
Coloring also helps with concentration as you become mindful on one thing leaving the rest of your worries to dissipate. Focussing in coloring sessions is a similar experience to exercises using fine motor skills like in paint or craft. Coloring imitates the same process, yet it’s one of the most readily and easily accessible hobbies.
Apart from the emotional benefits, there is a spiritual side to coloring as well. For Christians, it’s a simple method to live out Jesus’ words to, “not worry” and focus on the here and now (Matthew 6:34). As you focus and concentrate, your worries of tomorrow temporary take a backseat. The continuous rhythm of worrying less by forcing yourself to think on different things–like coloring–can eventually lead to a change in habits. If one of those habits is worrying less, then you’re guiding yourself towards a healthier emotional lifestyle.
2. Coloring can give you a tangible touch experience in the screen culture.
Our culture is now dependent on screens which can have adverse affects on your health and relationships. Coloring increases your tactile interaction with the world beyond the screen. With phones, TVs, computers, available in nearly every part of our lives, it’s tough to get away from the impact of screen glare. Coloring is a simple method, and a potential spiritual practice, to go analog with crayons and paper instead of pixels and screens. However, bear in mind, the popularity of coloring apps defeats this purpose, and doesn’t have the same benefits as pencil and paper.
Coloring is the intentional escape in our technocratic world that keeps us looking at screens all day. It’s even possible to work in the opposite, to turn coloring into a spiritual, and almost monastic, practice. For example, monks of all traditions focus their time on practices like prayer, worship, and work. The daily routine is usually a repetitive task that takes skill and concentration. Consider medieval artwork and craft created by monks, including many ancient texts copied and preserved. These kinds of tasks are similar to the artistic creativity of coloring.
3. Coloring can give you space for prayer and meditation
As you color and de-stress, you will create moments for potential prayer and meditation. As you color and focus on the scene, space is created in your head to meditate and pray.
Some religions falsely claim that coloring certain patterns in books can bring on evil thoughts. That assumption goes too far, and gives too much credence and power to the page. It’s the focus of your own heart that matters as you color, not the picture itself.
Coloring helps you slow down and slowing down is essential in our distracted and hurried society. Popular movements are emerging that meet this felt need including the Slow Food movement. As you slow down and concentrate on your art, it opens up space to connect with God.
Soul Coats can help with highlighting spiritual and biblical themes as you color. You not only experience all the rewards of coloring, but it’s a practical time to engage the stories and scriptures from the Bible. The nudge to become aware of God in your life has a resource you can take advantage of. Soul Coats comes with a FREE downloadable study and reflection guide for every single scene in our book.
The artwork in Soul Coats: Restoration, helps you focus and concentrate on specific scriptures or scenes and enhances your quiet times. It can also speak to your specific life situation as you imagine the stories of scripture and how they may apply to your faith. At this point, coloring becomes more than just a hobby. it becomes a spiritual practice you can enjoy and benefit from additional emotional and mental benefits. All of this from the readily accessible and fun hobby of adult coloring.
Try out our book and benefit from a deeper coloring experience. Check out the Soul Coats inspirational Adult Coloring Book today!