I love my life. Being a positive and optimistic person, I always believed that life is full of beautiful colors, brightness and love. I strongly keep the faith in the fact that there should be no place for hate, regret, worry, fret or fear in your life. And while enjoying this beautiful journey, being a mom of two lovely daughters is the best thing that ever happened to me. It is a feeling that is unimaginably precious.
It is true, that being a mom life is not easy. Motherhood has twenty-four hours in a day, seven days in a week responsibilities. Clean home, happy husband, intelligent and well-behaved kids…we always had a pressure to create a perfect lifestyle for our family. And for doing that, we need to wear so many different hats every day, from being an at home teacher to being an emotional coach and then handling the never-ending household responsibilities makes us completely exhausted at the end of the day. Sometimes, it is truly physically, mentally and emotionally draining.
There are days when we feel really bored with the monotonous routine of life. Sometimes financial insecurities, relationship demands and higher expectations from kids, raise our anxiety level. We feel that we did not get enough time for ourselves. We just want to go back in old days. Even sometimes the flow of negative thoughts makes us depressed too. And all these symptoms indicate a most common mental condition that affects most of the moms. It is a “typical mommy meltdowns” that creates an obstacle in our otherwise peaceful life.
Unfortunately, approximately 70% of USA mom, say that parenting is really hard and stressful. About 96% moms also feel that we are far more stressed than our mothers were.
Experts suggested various strategies for dealing with Mommy stress. Along with caring for your family, it is equally important to take care of yourselves. Being a mom and a physician too, I believe that it is very important to keep a creative and easy to adopt approach to solve our day to day problems. And while discussing about, mommy stress I would love to share a personal experience that has helped me a lot. And I am hoping that it will help other too.
There are days, when I feel pressurised with multitude responsibilities. Whenever, I feel overwhelmed with the intensity of negative emotions, I always prefer to move towards creativity. I love to get involved my selves in beautiful world of colors. And as soon as I put brush on canvas or just color the pictures with color pencils. I felt an immediate transition in my mental status, within a moment; my agony gets put on hold. I instantly felt an ability to fight. I feel my selves important and relevant. Just the act of creating art (not necessarily a masterpiece) with beautiful colors gives me an immense sense of relief in holding the flow of negative thoughts. My anxiety level gets lowered and I feel much calmer and relaxed.
I used to take help of creativity just by choice and getting the all wonderful benefits of coloring unintentionally without knowing the proven scientific facts. But the study that has caught my attention about how “Coloring had amazing benefits for mental health” really surprised me. According to a research done by National institute of health, explores the relationship between engagement with creative art and health outcome. It concludes that “all art-based interventions (such as visual art therapy, music and creative writing) are effective in reducing adverse physiological and psychological outcomes. These activities show potential benefits in enhancing health and wellness. Over the several years, additional studies have continued to link between colouring and better mental health and wellness.
According to an interview with CNN, Barbarian says that “definitely coloring does offer a slew of mental benefits. It has a potential to reduce anxiety, create or bring more mindfulness. In 2005, a ground-breaking research proved that anxiety level gets dropped when subjects colored mandala, which are round frames with geometric pattern side”.
Did you know the average person has 60,000 thoughts per day and 95% of them are exactly the same in, day out? And creating art provides a distraction, giving a break to our brain from usual thoughts. It allows us to focus only on the moment and help us alleviate free-floating anxiety. And leave us to feel clear and calm.
How does colouring relieve stress?
When I had explored the link between coloring and distressing, I came to know some surprising facts. “Carl Jung” was the first psychologist who has used applying colours as a relaxation technique for his patients”. He recommended coloring mandalas to his patients, as he believed they represent the “inner process by which individuals grow towards fulfilling their potential for wholeness”.
According to famous psychologist Gloria Martinez Ayala, when coloring, we activate different areas of two cerebral hemispheres. The action involves both, logic by which we color forms and creativity when we match and mixed colors. This incorporates the areas of the cerebral cortex involved in vision and fine motor skills. Thus this activity ultimately lowers the activity of Amygdala, a basic part of our brain that involved in controlling emotions that are affected by stress.
Being a mom and as an individual too, I had always realised several amazing benefits of colouring during hectic life schedule, where a sort of frantic tension is a common occurrence in each household. These are:
Stress relief and better control of negative thought
As we had already known the science behind how colouring relieves stress? And the same fact I had realised so many times in my every day time. Personally, whenever I get involved in coloring, the spark of creativity produces an immediate soothing effect on my mental status. Stress and anxiety level gets lowered. Negative thoughts are expelled so easily, as I take in positivity.
Of course, coloring wouldn’t make our problems disappear, but it will certainly put them on hold for the time being.
Can coloring really replicate the effects of meditation?
The psychological benefits of meditation and mindfulness have been well studied. But I had an honest confession, “I am a struggling meditator”. I often find it difficult to “turn off” and calm the mind. According to certain studies , coloring elicits a relaxing mindset similar to what we would have achieved through the meditation. I find colouring is the much easier option, as it does not require any active concentration.
Coloring has intellectual benefits too
Apart from stress relief, coloring has offered some great intellectual benefits to me. Whenever I get involved in the beautiful world of colors, I always had a good focus and concentration power. It improves my organisation and problem skill as well.
Studies show that coloring utilizes areas of the brain that enhance focus and concentration power. Our frontal lobes are responsible for these higher level activities and function of the brain. Coloring activates all these intellectual properties.
Secondly, coloring utilizes both hemisphere of the brain, right and left. Whenever we think about balance, colouring combination, applying colours we automatically work on our problem solving and fine motor skill
It is a perfect example of “Mom and me activity”
Being a mom of two young kids, it is always difficult to carve any special time just for my selves. During routine hectic life schedule, I always try to surf interesting “Mom and me activity”, to spend quality time with my kids with creativity and fun. And the coloring is the just perfect for that. I think, it is not only me but most of the moms would be able to enjoy colouring with their kids as well. Even young kids also loved the coloring. They get great fun while exploring the creativity and imagination.
The thing that is “icing on the cake” is coloring has numerous wonderful benefits for kids too. These are:
- They will recognize colors more easily
- They get proper grip and developed fine motor skills easily
- They just loved it, as great as a boredom buster too
- It explores creativity and imagination power in kids.
- They get better focus, hand to eye coordination and concentration capability while having fun
- Contribute to better handwriting Improved confidence and self-esteem
- Coloring has intellectual benefits
- It is a hobby that we can take wherever we go
There are so many times when I have been an airport or wait so long at doctor’s clinic with nothing to do. Here waiting seems so hard and endless. And of course, during those situations I want to do something calming. This is where having my colouring book and pencils come in handy. Not all hobbies can be easily accessible everywhere. But coloring is a hobby that is easily portable. And can be taken easily wherever we go. It is a great way to ceasing our boredom with fun and creativity.
So these are some amazing benefits of coloring that I had observed while always having a fun and spark of creativity. Did you have ever tried to explore the beautiful world of colors? What are your thoughts? Please share with us.