Art Therapy: Mandalas

I read somewhere that drawing mandalas (basically, geometric patterned shapes/designs) could be a good way of coping with stress and anxiety. Having a bit of a creative bent, I thought I’d give it a try. A little art therapy is good for anybody, right? So, for a while, I took to doodling mandalas (most often when I was watching T.V or doing some other mindless task that had me sitting down).

I had mixed results with this activity. On one hand, I think it can be useful to get your mind off things because you’re focused on creating your pattern. It gives you something neutral to concentrate on. This is handy if you’re feeling a bit anxious!  On the other hand, I’m not sure it’s a great task for somebody with perfectionist tendencies (like me) because you will notice every wonky line, uneven shape, etc. Perhaps for the especially self-critical among us, coloring mandalas would be more relaxing and less infuriating (You can find lots of mandala colouring pages online that are free to print off!). Colouring is also pretty popular these days as a way of dealing with stress and anxiety; I do that once in a while too.

One great things about this activity is that it’s pretty easy and incredibly inexpensive to do. All you need is some paper and some sort of writing utensil. I used lined paper and a black pen (plus a red pen to colour one). You can make your mandala very simplistic, or very intricate. If you need some ideas, I recommend looking up images of mandalas for inspiration.

I’ll show a few I did (and I’ll try not to mourn my sloppy line work too much haha!):

If you click on the image, it should enlarge. Number 3 is my favourite 🙂

So, if this seems like something you might enjoy, I suggest giving it a go. Just try not to stress about it too much – I’ll try this too!

Leave a comment


  1. cammy sherman

     /  May 29, 2016

    Ive used these as well to deal with anxiety and depression and it worked for me it was a fantastic exercise yours turned out great!

  2. I’ve never heard of these before, but I’d love to try it! My anxiety makes me extremely twitchy at times, and it really helps if I have something to do with my hands.

  3. What beautiful designs! I hope you had some fun doing those. I do that sort of thing as well and it helps (while I am doing it!) as it transforms me from that place of depression and sadness and anxiety to a place where those things have no home at all. These are proven therapeutic activities.
    The new colouring books are great for all of us who have any kind of mental illness. Just looking at my coloured pencils is a happy thing for me! They are like a bouquet of flowers that don’t need watering.
    I have been trying to learn a little bit about ‘mindfulness’ lately and somehow it seems to me that colouring or drawing are a way of being ‘mindful’.

  4. Olivia Rose

     /  June 28, 2016

    I never would have thought to use art as a way to cope with anxiety and depression. Your artworks turned out great!

  5. these are cool. I recently bought coloring books, but not with mandalas.

  6. I never heard that before. I’ll try it. Everything is worth a go! Mine won’t come out is pretty as your though.

  7. Melissa

     /  September 10, 2016

    My sister gave me a coloring book filled with these several years ago. She swore by them. I still have it laying around somewhere, and I have to admit they are one of my favorite things to do in my spare time! Although, like you mentioned, it’s easy to stress over the perfection of your work, but hopefully the good they provide outweighs the stress!


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