Long before the adult coloring book craze, therapists, and social workers often used coloring and art techniques to help clients work through their stress, anxiety, and depression. I often used coloring techniques with my child clients because I found it reduced their anxiety and increased their comfort level. When kids are more comfortable, they’re more likely to talk and express their emotions.
Coloring therapy is very helpful for adults too. It’s a great way to distract yourself from stressful events in the news or the everyday stressors of life. According to Kathleen Lorain, an art therapist who facilitates creative projects at the UC Davis Medical Center, when adults and children color:
…they engage in the ‘here and now’ and practice mindfulness, which can be a very meditative and relaxing process,” Lorain said. “Because they’re occupied with thoughts such as ‘what color do I use?’ and ‘how should I color this part?’ their right brain can relax and give them a break from difficult thoughts about procedures, their diagnosis, pain and the like. Art is a nonverbal way of processing all of these difficult feelings.
According to a study published in the Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, 22(2) pp. 81-85 © AATA, Inc. 2005, coloring mandalas have a significant positive effect. Based on their study, researchers concluded that:
…coloring a mandala for 20 minutes is more effective at reducing anxiety than free-form coloring for 20 minutes. By measuring anxiety levels upon entering the study…we were able to demonstrate that participants who colored on a blank piece of paper showed no reductions in anxiety, whereas those participants who colored a mandala actually decreased their anxiety levels…
Mandalas have been around for centuries and they’re often considered a symbol of the universe or wholeness. In Hinduism and Buddhism, mandalas are a spiritual symbol. Depending upon the religion, certain shapes of mandalas have different meanings.
To help you in your journey towards stress reduction and anxiety relief, I’ve created four mandala coloring pages just for you dear reader. Each one includes a motivational or thought-provoking quote. Print them out (cardstock works best) and grab your colored pencils, markers, gel pens or crayons. Sit somewhere comfortable and allow your mind to focus ONLY on the task at hand. Don’t worry about perfection or coloring outside the lines.
Allow yourself some time to ponder the quote on the coloring page. Does it apply to you? How does the quote make you feel? Does it change your perspective?
Once you’re done, you should feel relaxed and less stressed.
Four Free Mandala Coloring Pages
- Click the download link under each mandala to download for free.
- Your copy WILL NOT contain the watermark.
- These coloring pages are for your personal use only.