Hi friends! Since Tiny Buddha’s Worry Journal launches in three weeks, I’ve recently been sharing some of the coloring pages, which all depict things we can do to minimize anxiety in our daily lives.

So far I’ve shared:

Today’s tip: Create something with your hands.

If you’ve ever immersed yourself in any type of creative activity, you know how meditative and calming it can be.

When we’re focused on the next brush stroke, bead, or stitch, we’re deeply immersed in the present moment—not caught up in our thoughts, fears, and worries.

This is why I decided to include doodling and coloring pages in this journal. Research has shown that coloring calms down our amygdala—the fear center of the brain—and it also activates the parts of the brain that are responsible for focus and concentration.

Beyond that, coloring and other creative activities bring us back to the ease of a simpler time—before we had to worry about bills, bosses, and other stresses of adulthood.

When we were kids, we didn’t need to make time for creativity; it was as natural as breathing and saying no to things we didn’t like. Whether we were pretending to be pirates, fairies, or superheroes, we were always eager to pick up some cardboard and markers to make our own accessories and props.

And for that brief flicker of time, all we saw was the fantasy in our head, projected onto our bedroom or yard.

For many of us, childhood wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies, but the time we spent creating was.

When I look back on my life up until now, I see that all the happiest and most defining moments involved some form of creativity.

Like the decade I spent working at an afterschool program for kids, where I directed them in plays, made some of their costumes, and often designed arts and crafts projects for us to try.

And the years I spent sketching in my book of shadows (during my teenage wiccan years), trying to create a guidebook for magic and light in the dark ages of my adolescence.

And the time I spent crocheting afghans for everyone I love—first during the three months I spent at a residential treatment center for eating disorders, and later while traveling across the US with assorted mobile marketing tours.

These days, I don’t create with my hands often enough. I’m more likely to create something digitally (like the many coloring posters in the fun & inspiring section). But whenever I disconnect from technology and focus on making something from nothing, it’s like the whole world stops—along with my thinking mind. And for a brief flicker in time there’s only heart. Just love, joy, and pure presence.

I know there are a lot of you out there who also enjoy creating, and I would love to connect with you. So please, take a minute or two and say hello. Introduce yourself if we’re not acquainted, and tell me about something you’ve recently created, or you’d like to create. You can even share a picture if you’d like. Whatever it is, it’s a piece of your heart, and I would love to see it.

From now until June 26th, you’ll get three bonus gifts, including a guided meditation series on letting go, when you pre-order Tiny Buddha’s Worry Journal. All you need to do is order a copy here and forward your purchase confirmation email to [email protected]

About Lori Deschene

Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha and Recreate Your Life Story, an online course that helps you let go of the past and live a life you love. Her latest book, Tiny Buddha’s Worry Journal, which includes 15 coloring pages, is now available for pre-order. For daily wisdom, follow Tiny Buddha on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram.

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