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  • Writer's pictureRachel LeAnn

Art for Emotional Regulation

Updated: Dec 3, 2023

Artistic for emotional regulation might be a real thing, or it might be something I made up. Either way, nothing beats using a sticker book or coloring pages to settle an anxious and distracted mind. I color to listen better during church. I color to stay calm before doctor’s appointments.

Owl colored by Rachel LeAnn

Do you want to know how a grown adult has clung to their love of coloring books? Perhaps you want to know what kind of sticker books would be attractive to a thirty-something-year-old woman.

Oh boy, you’re in for a treat!

And if you’re reading this blog to see about my SEO writing… I am not taking this blog too seriously. It would probably be better to ask for a reference or my portfolio, where I don’t take so many liberties.

Art for Emotional Self-Care

Art is great for emotional self-care. Recently, I have focused on expanding the number of ways that I can calm down and find peace. I’m a pretty fidgety person, so having an activity like yoga or coloring facilitates meditation and reflection for me.

For most of my life, I coped with hard feelings in one of two ways: I starved myself to regain a sense of control, or I ate, riding each sugar high to stay above emotional flood waters. Self-love is possible at every size! However, overeating or starving yourself is not part of a self-care routine.

Visual art is a hobby of mine, but I’ve never seriously considered it for a career. My art is for me, not for anyone else. I don’t turn down compliments, but I also learned that I’m not interested in any critique outside of self-critique. (Writing is a very different medium… I write to share, and I actively seek critique.)

That being said, writing fiction is also a form of self-care and a way to process a lot of complicated experiences and ideas. Send an imaginary person through the gauntlet and see how they react!

Art for Emotional Regulation: Paying Attention & Focus

Bird Coloring page colored by Rachel LeAnn

I often use art to help me focus. My thoughts and emotions bounce around worse than a dozen rubber balls. Coloring is my art for emotional regulation.

Last month, I attended a book club where I found myself struggling to pay attention even though I wanted to. So whipped out my bag of twistable colored pencils and began filling in the lines. The fruity scent of the pencils and the movement of my hand settled my mind into the discussion.

I color quietly when I attend church too. I have found that I get much more out of worship when my mind is cradled in the present location. Without that, my brain starts flying dragons in circles around my trains of thought and stirring metaphors.

Frequently Asked Questions

Have you ever colored a poop emoji coloring page for emotional regulation?

I have never colored a poop emoji coloring page for emotional regulation, but I welcome the opportunity someday. That’s only if I can put down the pretty flowers, butterflies, and fantasy scenes that call to me more loudly than that other kind of nature.

What if I am somewhere where I don’t have a coloring page, and I need emotional regulation?

I try hard not to be caught in locations without at least one coloring book or sticker book. That’s why I have a huge purse. I tuck an entire coloring book and a baggie of twistable colored pencils so that it’s available anywhere for emotional regulation.

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