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Finding Focus with Color
There are times when I am stressed out or trying to work through a complex problem. With Attention Deficit Disorder, either of those things can be difficult. I need an adult fidget. For folks with ADD, fidgeting can improve focus. In situations like these, I need to do something with my hands. Playing with toys feels silly to me, probably because I'm older. Tiny skateboards are not my things! I want something that allows me to fidget and also hook into my creativity. Coloring does that for me!
By coloring, I don't mean the type of thing that my kids did in grade school. Nor do I mean comic type coloring. I want something adult. Something elegant and tasteful. Mandalas fill the bill. You can find them online as single sheets. Just put "mandala" into a google image search. Amazon sells mandala books, too. My recent buy was a book by Shala Kerrigan. It's aptly named, "Paisley Mandalas." This is a lovely coloring book for adults. Shala is one of our BellaOnline editors.
Coloring mandalas allows me to do something with my hands. I need to stay within the lines and make my coloring smooth. The physical act of coloring lowers my stress level and helps me focus. Whether I'm using pencils, pens, or markers, I want my coloring to look good. It should be gorgeous.
Making simple decisions about color helps me to put my mind into problem solving mode. I make sure that the colors work together. Sometimes they harmonize, and sometimes they contrast. There are times that I use two related colors to shade or harmonious colors to add textures. As I add the layers of color, my mind prowls.
As the mandala progresses, I start seeing connections and possible solutions to my problem. Seeing the colors come together gives me a great deal of satisfaction. Coloring a mandala activates my brain's reward centers as the picture progresses. This is important when you have Attention Deficit Disorder. Rewards help people with ADD stay focused.
Coloring a mandala lifts my mood. Looking at the completed picture gives me the feeling of creating a bit of beauty. And that's just the side benefit! By the time that I've completed the mandala, my problem solving skills have kicked into high gear. I've approached my problem several different ways and have a good idea about what I can do to solve it.
Do you think adult coloring is a strange way to focus and attack problems? I certainly did before I tried it. Now, I have my coloring supplies ready to go all of the time. I am prepared for those problems to surface. My mandalas are just waiting for their color, and I'm using my ADD creativity to lower stress and solve problems.
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Content copyright © 2015 by Connie Mistler Davidson. All rights reserved.
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