Mandala Coloring can reduce stress
The simple act of coloring an image directly affects the reduction of stress and anxiety. This practice is discovered through mandala coloring, which is considered a form of meditation.
This form of therapy is becoming more and more popular among adults but also among children. This relaxing exercise helps to clear the mind, to focus only on the present moment, on the activity of creating with harmony. Recent studies show that the geometric side of mandalas is more beneficial to the mind than simple coloring.
What is a mandala?
In Sanskrit, the word mandala simply refers to a circle. Circles are powerful symbols found in many cultures. We see them as haloes of light, prayer circles and other religious, artistic and natural symbols.
The Mandala is a sacred circle that has always been used to facilitate meditation among practitioners of Buddhism and Hinduism.
Mandalas can be painted or drawn. They can also be ephemeral creations, such as sand mandalas, which are often taken apart after a ceremony. The main circle of the Mandala is filled with a variety of geometric shapes and symbols. Very often they respect a certain symmetry by following a color scheme.
The process of creating the mandalas is as important as the finished work. The idea is to visualize the different phases of creation in the same way that the connection between body and mind is visualized, for this reason mandalas are ideal tools to guide a meditation.
Mandala, a therapeutic art?
Mandalas as a form of meditation are now regarded as healing tools. A growing number of clinical studies suggest that meditation can reduce stress, fight depression, help manage pain, and reduce blood pressure. Meditation can also strengthen our immune system by stimulating the creation of melatonin, the hormone that reduces cell aging and promotes restful sleep.
Mandalas aren’t just things to look at or use in meditation sessions. Now they are used in coloring books which would be useful to anyone. Coloring a mandala with crayons, markers, paints or crayons combines the beneficial effects of meditation and art therapy into one simple activity that can be practiced anywhere, anytime.
People who color in mandalas often have this feeling of deep serenity, calm and well-being. It’s a simple tool that doesn’t require any specific experience, but it can be very enriching. Mandalas stimulate not only concentration, but also the creative side of the person, an element too often overlooked in our daily life.
Mandalas are particularly useful for:
- Children: Coloring mandalas can help children manage their emotions better. Rather than verbalizing their feelings, many children express themselves through colors and art. Psychologist Dr. Barbara Sourkes, a psychologist, used these “colored wheels” for young children. He noted that this exercise can be practiced by children from the age of 3 and that it allows them to express their feelings in a more natural way than with traditional coloring.
- People who want to quit smoking: For the same reason some smokers knit when they just quit, coloring mandalas helps keep their hands busy and helps reduce stress. You can take your coloring book with you everywhere and take a few minutes to complete it with peace of mind when you feel like smoking.
- People with terminal illnesses : The University of California, in partnership with the Irvine Cancer Research Center, has collaborated in organizing workshops around mandalas to encourage patient well-being and strengthen the expression of feelings through this practice.
However, mandalas aren’t necessarily suitable for everyone. The coloring of a mandala involves the repetition of some gestures in a sustained way. This is not recommended for people with osteoarthritis in particular, but also for other repetitive strain injuries.
How to color a mandala?
It only takes a few simple steps and a little time to be alone:
- You will need crayons, markers, crayons or paint.
- Use a mandala coloring book to keep them all in one book that can be browsed over time.
- Find a quiet and comfortable place where you can color comfortably without distractions.
- Start coloring
When coloring, try not to think too much about the choice of colors, don’t focus too much on the idea of perfect symmetry. Let yourself be guided by your instincts. After starting with the first color, the next will naturally follow. Susan Ficher, the author of many books on mandalas to color, says this:
“A color on a mandala invites a second, like a guest politely asking if he can join us for dinner.”
The repeated process of coloring geometric shapes in a mandala can be beneficial for people of all ages. Gently get away from the idea that coloring is only for children.
Instead, use it as a constructive way to take some time for yourself, to enjoy a quiet moment to calm your thoughts and reduce the stress and anxiety that plague you on a daily basis. You may be surprised at the relief you find.