Let’s face it. We live in a world filled with stressors. Aside from that, all of us have our own troubles and worries, deadlines to meet and busy schedules. Stress is all around us. Along with all these anxieties, few of us even have time to pause and relax. At some time or another, we will succumb to it. So before it gets the best of us, we need to learn how to deal with it.
Stress can have many negative effects on the body. It can make us susceptible to all kinds of illnesses and chronic diseases. When you are feeling distraught, for whatever reason, your body takes the “fight or flight” stance, causing a rush of adrenalin due to your strong reaction to a certain situation. This could cause the body to experience shortness of breath, palpitations, high blood pressure, dizziness, chest pain, and at times, a great feeling of fear.
There are many other simple relaxation techniques that are helpful tools for coping with stress and promoting long term health. Some may be done anywhere, even at work. Deep breathing is one relaxation technique that will slow your heart rate, lower blood pressure, and clear your mind. Breathing exercises are quite effective, bringing quick results when you find yourself suddenly anxious. You can also try practicing yoga regularly or meditate daily. Indulging in relaxing spa treatments is also another option.
But there’s another technique that is gaining popularity nowadays. Have you heard of coloring mandalas for relaxation? Mandala means “sacred circle” in Sanskrit, and many ancient cultures believe in the power that is hidden in the center of a Mandala. According to Carl Gustav Jung, known to popularize this concept to Western thought, mandalas symbolize “a safe refuge of inner reconciliation and wholeness.” A mandala is a helpful tool to meditate and ease the mind and the body.
So how does coloring a Mandala work? Coloring activates the different areas of our brain which involve logic, creativity, vision, motor skills, and ultimately, our emotion which is affected by stress. Coloring Mandalas is like a form of creative play where the key to relieving stress is by discovering what works best for you. You just need to find a comfortable spot where you feel at ease and away from all the distractions. Then, start coloring the pattern and don’t feel edgy with what color to use or what stroke to do. Just follow your own pace and rhythm, and let the mandala bring you peace and clarity. Mandala coloring books are excellent tools to help unclutter your thoughts and allow your body and mind to be relaxed for at least a small amount of time. You will surely feel relieved after completing the mandala.
There are plenty of sources online for mandalas to color such as the ones being published by Ironpower Publishing owned by Richard Hargreaves. They have different volumes for varying difficulty levels. Volumes 1, 4, 7 and 10 have patterns for beginner and intermediate levels while Volumes 2, 5, 8 and 11 are for intermediate to advanced colorists. And volumes 3, 6, 9, and 12 contain the most complex and intricate designs, best suited for advanced colorists only. They are available from Amazon and very reasonably priced.