I came across an article recently in the Huffington Post Coloring Isn’t Just For Kids. It Can Actually Help Adults Combat Stress. It appears that colouring, and especially colouring symmetrical patterns like mandalas, can help reduce stress. For most of us we need to use our left brain more in our working lives.. this governs areas like verbal and written communication, logic, organisation and analytical thinking, whereas, the right brain is much more about patterns, colours, sensory input and intuition. See here for a good summary of attributes for left and right brain from about.com websitte – but it real life there is a bit of overlap for most people. We need to use our right brains more for colouring and concentrating on colour and patterns and this seems to switch off the left brain – if you struggle to calm your mind to meditate then why not try a bit of colouring instead.
You might be surprised to hear Carl Jung was a big fan of mandalas and saw them as a graphical representation of the self more info here in an article on Jung and mandalas.
Mandalas are symmetrical patterns that exist in all cultures and go back thousands of years. The word mandala comes from the sanskrit word for circle but mandala type patterns can be found in all religions and cultures. In our everyday lives you can see madala type patterns in many objects such as floor tiles, fabric, plate patterns and church windows like the Rose Window at Durham Cathedral.
I found the images above on http://printmandala.com/ where you can download many different mandalas. So..why not print a couple off now and do some colouring!
If you prefer the idea of a proper colouring book there are a lot more available for adults than you might think. Here are a small selection I found on Amazon.