By Alyson Monaco
More and more we are seeing the word “mindfulness” pop up in the health and wellness world. Mindfulness can mean different things to everyone, but the general gist is that you are bringing awareness to your body. This awareness can be physical as well as mental, acknowledging stresses, anxiety, or other feelings you may be having at any given moment. There are many different mindfulness practices to choose from, including one that may seem like a major childhood throwback – COLORING!
We are very excited to announce that we will be celebrating National Coloring Day this year by partnering up with Healthline in their Color for Calm contest. The contest is meant to shine a light on mental health by promoting the therapeutic effects of coloring for stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions.
Starting on August 2nd, you can participate in the contest by downloading one of four coloring pages. Simply color, snap a pic, and tag your chosen judge and @Healthline on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to be considered!
Meditation practices have spanned centuries and cultures, but are starting to come forward as a popular form of holistic treatment for reducing stress and improving emotional health. Meditation is the process of training your mind to focus and redirect your thoughts. When the word meditation comes to mind, you probably think about sitting quietly with your eyes closed, breathing steadily in an empty room. This is meditation in it’s rawest form, but various activities can also be forms of meditation, such as coloring, or knitting. Many people even describe more physical activities like yoga their personal form of meditation. Anything that allows you to hyper-focus and draw awareness to your mind and body can be meditative.
Attention Span & Memory
One of the benefits aside from emotional wellbeing that meditation holds is an improved attention span. Whatever your meditative choice, the activity you are performing puts you “in the zone”, allowing you to keep it up for long periods of time. This translates directly into your everyday life, allowing you to focus more deeply on work and other tasks. On that note – have you ever been under so much stress that you forget things on your to-do list? This is not uncommon. Lifestyle has a huge impact on your memory! In fact, a study in Taiwan demonstrated how students who practiced some form of meditation had better spatial working memory than those who did not. This means they were able to hold onto information about the position of objects. In general, meditation is simply amazing for your brain function.
Being mindful is a practice that more and more people, no matter the age, are taking on to ease their troubled minds. We live in a world of high stress, whether it be from overloading ourselves with work, or bombarding our brain with social media. Everyone needs a break! Give it a try. While you’re at it, remember to enter Healthline’s Color for Calm contest before the end of August for some pretty excellent prize baskets full of goodies to lead to you a life of mindfulness.
Alyson Monaco is a published writer, expert in health and fitness, and professional dancer hailing from New Jersey. Her love of how the body works began through early dance training, which lead to a major in Dance at internationally renowned Boston Conservatory. Aside from movement studies, she was trained extensively in kinesiology, anatomy, and nutrition. These would only aid in her pursuit of both Group Fitness and Personal Training certifications through the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA)/National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). Alyson has been actively working as a fitness instructor, Personal Trainer, and nutrition coach since 2013 and has been writing on her areas of expertise since 2016. She loves working one on one with people of all ages and ability, and truly enjoys helping people find a better quality of life.