It’s a stressful life, isn’t it? I mean, it’s not like we’re kids anymore, and we can’t just run away from our problems like we used to – at least that’s not the healthy and mature way of dealing with these situations. We can’t just look away and pretend the bills aren’t there. It’s not like we can press mute on our loud neighbors that can’t seem to keep their music to themselves on an otherwise quiet afternoon.
It’s not like our hearts can be “unbroken” – I think we went a little too deep on that one. But in our society today, where crime persists and stalks us in every corner; where ignorant people are running for presidency; where people are dying of hunger; where Mother Nature’s cries are being ignored, it’s so easy to get lost in the spiraling chaos. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed about everything.
Sometimes we have no choice but to cry. Cry over our overbearing bosses, cry over our broken families, cry over shattered relationships. The thing is, we can’t just cry forever.
We have to bear with these problems. We have to feel them in order to accept the pain in order to truly move on from them and get stronger. Yes, crying is a good way to cope with your stress, but there are other ways – more productive ways to keep your emotions at bay when you think you’re about to lose control. You’ll never believe what my doctor recommended when I talked to him about being so stressed all the time. She gave me a coloring book for adults. At first I looked at her, confused about why she’s giving me a book that is originally meant for children. How was that supposed to help me? I couldn’t even imagine it. Of course I’ve heard about the trend before: how adults are coloring in their spare time. But I always thought it was just some sort of fad that people got into for no reason. I thought they just wanted something more interesting to share on Facebook or Instagram. I dismissed it as something that will absolutely waste my time. But my doctor urged me to open it. To observe what the coloring book looked like on the inside. What I saw amazed me. The intricate details, the marvelous designs – right then I knew that this is nothing that a child would enjoy.
Still, I wasn’t convinced that it’s something I’d enjoy myself. I’m not really that into art. And sure, the details were pretty, but I didn’t think my doctor was serious when she told me that I should color it on my spare time. When I realized she was, I felt myself holding onto that coloring book for adults as if it’s some sort of magical device – like a magic wand of sorts – that will wave all of my troubles goodbye. That’s how foreign it was to me. I didn’t even know how it would help. But I tried it out. I went to the bookstore and got myself a decent set of coloring pencils; nothing too fancy. I went home and tried coloring for the first time. Who knew that I would enjoy it so much? Soon I found out the reason why this was prescribed to me: it is awfully relaxing. I found myself lost in a world full of patterns and colors and figures. If anything, it really cleared my head. I made better decisions after that, because my mind wasn’t full of crappy thoughts that stemmed from my own willingness to dive into my problems like it was a pool.
It cleansed my mind, it purified my soul. For a second there I even thought art was able to cure disease – as if it’s got some sort of healing powers. But the way it works is really simple, really easy to explain: I was being too submerged within my own thoughts and my own problems that I forgot to enjoy the simple things in life. It was a good wake up call, in the sense that I got to enjoy making art, without the pressure of actually “making” the art. I simply brought the drawings to life using my simple coloring techniques. It’s genius! There is absolutely no need to think about the outcome, because I know that the outcome would never be too bad.
I found myself admiring the way my doctor thinks, and I started to understand how this “fad” endured for such a long time. It’s not just a trend after all. It’s the escape we all thought was impossible in this mature reality…it’s a showcase of the healing power of art.