person practicing mandala art therapy

Simple Art Therapy (Mandala Art Therapy) To Help Reduce Your Stress, Improve Mindfulness and Increase Your Focus During This Pandemic

By KyoungHee Choi
During these uncertain times, it’s not unusual for leaders to experience high levels of pressure and stress. I want to share a simple art therapy exercise that can help you reduce your stress and anxiety as you improve your mindfulness and focus. Carl Jung, the Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst described MANDALA art therapy as “a representation of the unconscious self.” So, what is MANDALA art therapy and how can we use it? 

What is MANDALA art therapy? 

MANDALA art therapy is a form of psychotherapy in which a trained art therapist guides a person through coloring processes using geometric patterns in an effort to find or restore a sense of healthy mental balance. The meaning of the word “MANDALA” in Sanskrit is “circle” or “completion”. Mandala is a spiritual and ritual symbol in Buddhism, representing the universe. The circular designs symbolize the idea that life is all linked just like a circle and everything is connected. It also represents the spiritual journey within the individual viewer. Each color has its own specific meaning and represents mental energy levels. The purpose of MANDALA art therapy is to help transform minds to enlightened ones, relieve stress and to assist with focus.

How does MANDALA art therapy relieve stress? 

The process of creating round or coloring mandala design is beneficial from a healing perspective. Tibetan Monks are known to use such processes as part of their meditation routines and to improve learning. Beginning your meditation through mandala allows you to let go of all unwanted thoughts. Focus on the here and now. And promote mindfulness, focus and attention. 

What do I need to prepare? 

A sheet of letter paper with a pencil or mandala design paper, color pencils and relaxing or meditation music.

How Can I try MANDALA art therapy at home? 3 simple steps. 

Time needed: 1 day and 30 minutes

  1. Step 1 – PREPARATION

    Clean your office or desk. It will help you focus. Turn on your chosen meditation or relaxing music. 

  2. Step 2 – TRY

    If you have pre-designed mandala paper (you can easily find free mandala templates on the internet). Pick a design you like or start with something simple. Begin coloring the shapes. If you prefer to create your own mandala design, create your design with pencil first and color after. While you are coloring the design, try to concentrate on it. 

  3. Step 3 – RESULT

    When you complete it, check how many colors you used and which color was dominant. Check-in with yourself. How do you feel? You can try again tomorrow with a different design. If you can do this mandala therapy regularly, you will find your mind calmed, experience less stress and increase focus. 

Do you feel stressful and anxious during these uncertain times? Your wellbeing is more important than ever. 

Try MANDALA art therapy at home and allow yourself to absorb the beautiful things in this world, let your stress down and focus on the colors and your inner mind. 

It might seem unusual for an executive to complete a “coloring” exercise in these challenging times. I know some of you are probably thinking that’s an activity for your kids to do. But it has been scientifically proven to reduce stress and improve attention. Give it a try!

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