Remember when you were at school? When recess was the best time of the day? You were let free from class to run around until your heart was content, to climb on the monkey bars and play made-up games. You were completely present in the moment and gave your mind a break from the hard work that goes into learning. Why don’t we do this anymore? When we talk about creativity, it’s so important to relieve your mind after critical thinking and reset focus. This essentially turns over a new page in your mind, making room for new ideas and connections to be formed. It’s essential for productive creativity, yet we never allow it for ourselves.
Until now! You need to get your hands on some colouring-in material because it’s not just for kids anymore. It may not be as physical as running around on the playground, but colouring-in will help you reset your mind, leading to enhanced creativity.
Colouring-in to express yourself
As an artistic practise, colouring-in lets you express yourself in way that you cannot in your daily work and life routine. It encourages experimentation which leads to new ideas. Ever had a great idea that just hit you out of the blue? It’s very likely you were being creative and present in the moment, helping your brain make new connections and pathways. What’s more, you can strategically use specific colours to enhance this effect on the brain. As you may already know, colours have a measurable impact on how we feel and how we think. Studies have shown the using blue and green in a situation or environment helps the brain to think creatively and open it to new ideas.
Colouring-in to detox from the digital world
As creative professionals, we are being drawn into the digital world more and more. Keyboards and screens have become our new normal, so putting a pencil to paper may be the best thing you could do for you creativity all day. Your eyes will be grateful for the time away from the screen too. Colouring-in is also highly effective to wind down after work or before bed. It can give you that distinction between your workday and being at home, especially important with so many Australians working at home at the moment. As reading or walking does, you’ll feel more refreshed after some colouring-in, instead of groggy and tired from staring at the computer all day long.
Colouring-in for stress relief
Feeling overwhelmed, running out of inspiration - life is stressful, and it’s even more stressful in the current climate. Give yourself the opportunity to zen out and focus solely on what’s happening right in front of you. Colouring-in will do this for you. Studies have shown that colouring-in relieves stress and helps reduce anxiety. Colouring within the lines means you don’t have to think about screwing up the drawing, boosting self-confidence and trust in your own ability. And what happens when you feel confident within yourself, and less stressed? You’ve got more room for creativity and new ideas!
Colouring-in to practise mindfulness meditation
Sitting still is not your thing? Traditional meditation is hard to practise, but that doesn’t mean it’s not for you. Meditation is often misunderstood for a crossed-legged yogi, sitting still for hours on end. This is unrealistic for pretty much everyone, and there are plenty of other ways to practise mindfulness meditation. The essence of practising mindfulness is to be 100% present in what you are doing. When you are colouring-in, you are focused only on the drawing in front of you. This helps to block out all distractions, declutter your mind and transport you into a meditative state. This break from the demands of everyday life creates space for creative thinking to thrive and helps improve mental health.
Before you rush out the door to find the closest colouring-in book you can find, Rafiki Mwema have some gorgeous free downloads to get you started. These three colouring-in sheets are part of the colouring-in book ‘Rafiki Mwema - Colours of the World’, featuring illustrations from artists all around the world who donated their art for this book. And if the three sheets aren’t enough, you can buy the whole book! Use the code FRUIT25 to get a 25% discount. Proceeds go towards helping some of the most vulnerable children in Kenya. It's a guilt-free, creativity enhancer that you need!
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