I will be the first to admit that I am an amateur, self-taught mandala draw-er- but drawing them is so therapeutic! Art therapy and creative and mindfulness theory will tell you that the circular nature of these beautiful designs are a powerful tool to help you relax, stay in the present moment, clear your mind, and use your creativity. Don't feel overwhelmed if you want to start- here are a few tips for beginners I have worked out for myself that might also be useful to you:
1) Learn the language. There seem to be repetitive shapes and designs used by mandala artists that you can learn. An easy way to do this is to look for images of mandalas and copy them. You will find arches, leaves, lines, dots, swirls and all sorts of shapes thematically repeat in mandala designs.
2) Rearrange the basic shapes you learned on your own. Start with a shape in the middle of your page that is round. Begin adding some of the shapes you have learned around the center and build outwards in layers. Stop when you feel done. Add more if you don't.
3) Don't judge your work. For our purposes we are using mandala drawing as a therapeutic tool and that means do what you feel! Let yourself feel calmed by the simple, repetitive nature of your drawing. If it feels right, draw it. Keep drawing until you feel peaceful. If you feel frustrated, stop drawing, start a new mandala, be less judgmental of your work, or any combination of these.
4) Always remember: creative people need to create! Use this simple activity to get your creative juices flowing in a nonjudgmental and therapeutic way. Make it a part of your routine. Use it to meditate and be at peace. And- since we know you are creative- be creative on how and when you use it so it works best for you! Talk about your use of this therapeutic tool during your next therapy session.
The information provided in this blog is from my own clinical experiences and training. It is intended to supplement your clinical care. Never make major life changes before consulting with your treatment team. If you are unsure of your safety or wellbeing, do not hesitate to get help immediately.