Staying in the Moment with Adult Coloring Books: Guest Blog Post by Sheila Jones

I have a very stressful job. I work 50 hours a week, sometimes more, for a very highly trafficked sales company. My boss can be very hard on me. For a long time, the only thing I could do when I got home was zone out in front of the television. I never felt like I was able to be in the moment. I was always worried about the next day or stressing over everything I had done that day. It was hard for me to be present.

I always knew I needed to develop a meditation habit. I had seen the power of meditation and what it could do in many of my friends’ lives, the life of my husband, the life of my mother, etc. I have seen the power of staying present. Even the people I know who don’t have a specific meditation habit still have something they do in which they are able to meditate, like hiking or swimming. I didn’t think I would ever be able to find something like this for me, and anytime I tried to just sit down and meditate, I found that I wasn’t able to.

Then, my good friend, Asha, who runs Alaska Rain, gave me an adult coloring book. It had a ton of mandala designs that I was able to color. I found that I was able to really stay in the moment and be extremely mindful of each section I was coloring, the way I was holding the pencils, the colors I was using. And then I realized: this is my version of meditation.

I know some artists who are a little snobby about adult coloring books. One of them even told me adult coloring books are to art what karaoke is to music. I disagree. Maybe it’s not the same as creating a drawing or a painting from scratch, but that’s not the point.

The point is that everyone needs to find the activity that works for them, the activity that feels like meditation. And for me, adult coloring books can be just that. Since I’ve started using them, I’ve developed a way to really deal with my stress and stay in the moment. And I cannot say enough positive things about that. So pick up an adult coloring book today and give it a shot. What do you have to lose?

Meditation and Recovery for Addiction: What You Need to Know

Contrary to what some people think, addiction to drugs and alcohol is a disease. It’s a very complex issue that cannot be treated simply by remaining abstinent from the drug or the alcohol. There is a comprehensive treatment plan that is required to help many addicts recover, and this typically requires rehabilitation of some kind.

One tool that many rehabilitation and recovery programs are beginning to use to help addicts combat their disease is meditation. Meditation is a practice going back over thousands of years, and it is used by many different people for many different reasons. While some people use meditation as a way to connect with God or Spirit as they understand Him, other people simply use meditation as a tool to sharpen their minds and rejuvenate their bodies.

Meditation can be practiced alone or in groups. It can be done in complete silence, or a guided meditation can be used. Some people meditate while chanting. Some people meditate while playing bells or wind chimes. Some people meditate while walking, dancing in the rain, or just breathing.

There are many studies that support the addition of meditation as a tool for addicts and alcoholics who are in recovery and trying to learn ways to live clean and sober lives. When people practice meditation (especially daily), they develop more wisdom, more clarity, more of a sense of focus, and essential skills they need to cope with life in a way that won’t require them to choose to use drugs or drink alcohol. Meditation provides addicts and alcoholics with tools they need to stay sober and clean over a long period of time.

This is why meditation is now such an integral part of so many different recovery programs. Whether you are going through a traditional recovery program or focusing more on something like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), there is a good chance that you will be asked to develop your meditation practice in your recovery program.

While meditation is a very positive thing for all recovered addicts and alcoholics, it should not be a substitute for an actual treatment program. If you or someone you love is struggling with drug addiction or alcoholism, please consider contacting a rehabilitation facility like The Recovery Village or a 12-step program like Alcoholics Anonymous.

If you are struggling with alcoholism or addiction, it’s important to remember never to give up on yourself. You can live a life free of drugs and alcohol. You are stronger than you know! And meditation can be an excellent way for addicts and alcoholics to find that strength within themselves.

Top 5 Reasons You Should Meditate

We are obviously big fans of meditation here in the Alaska Rain group. But did you know about all of the benefits associated with meditation? There are about a million reasons to meditate that we have all helped each other discover over the last six months, and we wanted to share a few of those reasons with you.

1. Meditation reduces stress.  Studies show that meditation can reduce your blood pressure and your resting heart rate. In today’s society, everyone is always stressed out about work or school or family obligations or a thousand other commitments. But people who meditate for at least 20 minutes a day are more likely to live longer and less likely to develop diseases.

2. Meditation helps you focus. We live in an environment where information is constantly being thrown at us. Facebook, CNN, billboards, Twitter, Instagram, Taylor Swift, Starbucks. Will it ever end? It’s very easy to get caught in the shuffle and develop focus issues or a short attention span. When you take the time to be quiet and go within, you can greatly improve your sense of focus.

3. Meditation helps you relax. So many of us have issues shutting down our minds or not worrying about all of the stressful events of the day. We are all so consumed with the million thoughts and responsibilities and emotions, and sometimes it just gets so cloudy. Meditation helps us to clear our minds and bodies so we are able to relax.

4. Meditation re-aligns you with Spirit. Regardless of your religious beliefs, meditation is an excellent way to reconnect with God, Spirit, Jesus, Budha, whatever you want to call it. Even if you are an atheist and don’t believe in any particular religious or spiritual figure, meditation can make you feel more connected to your brothers and sisters in the human race, your loved ones, and all living beings.

5. Meditation makes you more present. We live in a very fast-paced world. Meditation can give us a little bit of time to slow down and take time for ourselves. Meditation is a great practice to develop throughout your life because it is so beneficial for your body, mind, and soul.

There are so many different reasons why you may want to try meditating. Try the various different meditation methods for some variety and see which method works the best for you. I guarantee you that you will feel a lot better once you start the daily practice.