Benefits of Mandala Coloring
Native cultures across the world, including Native American tribes and Tibetan Buddhist monks have used mandalas in their spiritual practices for centuries. The world “mandala” is Sanskrit for “sacred circle.” Mandalas are always circular, but they can have limitless variations in the intricate patterns and designs inside. Mandalas were traditionally created by painting the designs on various types of surfaces or using colored sand to create the mandala on the floor.
While scientists are still doing studies to look at exactly what benefits mandala coloring offers and how effective it may be for reducing anxiety and calming the mind, one study published in Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association showed a significant increase in anxiety reduction when participants colored fairly complicated geometric patterns, such as those found in mandala coloring pages. Here are just a few of the ways mandala coloring may be able to help you:
- Decrease stress. Coloring mandalas takes a great deal of focus; you have to decide which colors should go in which spaces and work carefully to stay within the detailed line work. Focusing on these aspects helps the other problems and issues in your life start to slip to the back burner of your mind.
- Ease depression and anxiety. While coloring mandalas is not a substitute for seeking professional help, coloring has been shown to help with the physical and psychological symptoms associated with mild depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety. One possible reason is that the repetitive motion of coloring acts as a self-soothing behavior.
- Cultivate your creative side. Coloring in any form gives you a way to express yourself without worrying about what anyone else thinks. Put red and purple in the same space, color outside the lines or add more line work. Coloring as an adult can help you get back in touch with your younger, less stressed self.