By Elías Alejandro, Alejandra Rodriguez, Manola Sunza and Alex Valderrama
Last week, we colored a mandala as an English class assignment. The purpose of this activity was to relax and calm ourselves while coloring the mandala. The mandalas we colored were chosen by us so that we could feel more comfortable with our drawing. This task was a really fun and great way to calm anxiety and defeat depression in our personal experience.
Based on Elías’s experience, this was a really good way to relax and make peace with himself. In the last few months, he has been struggling with anxiety and stress because of school and the current quarantine situation. This activity was a great relief, and he thinks that if schools did this type of activity more often, it’d help the students mentally and even improve their grades. Similarly, Manola said, “It was an activity that helped me relax and forget about my problems. At first, I thought that this activity would not work and that I wasn't going to relax, but then I realized that coloring mandalas were a great way to fight anxiety”. Both of them recommend doing this activity with a lot of colors. And for beginners, they recommend something easier.
Based on Ale’s experience, before the activity, she was nervous and a little bit stressed because she had never been good at coloring, and the mandala was about coloring, but when the activity started, she noticed that it was easier than she expected, and she didn’t even have to plan what colors she’d use, she just gave up stress and followed her instincts. After the activity, she was so relaxed that she finished the activity and posted it on Padlet. Alex’s opinion is, “My experience painting my Mandala was quite nice, at first it was a little boring because I don't like to color, but as I was coloring and watching the process, I started to enjoy it. The change it had from when it was in black and white to choosing colors that combine and finish with a colorful mandala is super cool”.
In conclusion, we all agree that coloring mandalas are a simple but effective way to relax. During quarantine, we all have gone through stressful situations. During this activity, we learned that taking a moment for ourselves is very important, and during these difficult times, we need to take care of our mental health. Now, do you think mandalas would be helpful for you?
By Bibiana Herrera, Federico Herrera, Aoife Torres and Emiliano Velázquez
It is often said that during the pandemic, people around the world started to feel anxious or stressed because of being alone/locked. Due to this issue, we're looking for ways to release stress at home, such as singing, doing any sport, reading, drawing, listening to music, or coloring mandalas. Mandalas are often used to release stress and relax the body, but they also have other uses, such as improving concentration, sleeping, and even reducing nightmares but, are they effective?
In Fede’s opinion, he enjoyed coloring mandalas. They kept him busy and made him forget about all the things that happened around him. After a while, he started to feel drowsy, so he took a refreshing nap after coloring. Since he didn't have any bad dreams or discomfort while asleep, he guesses mandalas help to sleep, but he recommends preparing the area in which you're coloring before starting, making it comfy, just in case you fall asleep. Aoife’s view on the matter is that listening to music and coloring mandalas is also really helpful to release stress and anxiety. Before coloring, she sort of stressed with homework and school. Still, after coloring, she felt relaxed; she recommends doing it with your family or friends because you can have a great experience of talking while coloring.
From Bibi's point of view, she enjoyed this activity because she felt like she already had a lot of stress accumulated on the week, and to paint a mandala (in her case while watching a series or listening to the music that she likes), was a good and different way to relax. Bibi recommends doing this if you're looking for another way to relax. Still, in her opinion, you have to take into account that each person can do it differently depending on what they are looking for or their personality. In Emiliano’s opinion, he enjoyed coloring the mandalas while he was on my break because it really helped me express myself with the colors that he chose and the pattern he followed, it also helped him concentrate more on things and on his homework, and it kept Emiliano calmed the rest of the day instead of nervous, he also showed my mandala to my parents. He felt good when they told me what they thought. It’s a really fun activity where you can relax and focus. He only dislikes cutting the paper.
In conclusion, mandalas are an excellent way to release stress and anxiety at home; it also helps you concentrate on what you´re doing. There are many mandalas of different designs so that every person has their own experience; there are many websites where you can find different types of mandalas. In our recommendation, you should try sharing mandalas with people that are stressed or anxious. These mandalas will be full of the author's feelings and emotions, so there is no rush in finishing them. Every person has their process. Just try to express and relax.
By Leo Canto, Anna Espinosa, Mariana Figueroa and Tiago Vargas
On April 23rd, our English class gathered and colored some mandalas together while listening to instrumental music. The purpose of the activity was to experience the effects of coloring mandalas. Some of the most known benefits of coloring mandalas are focusing your attention, reducing stress and anxiety, letting your creativity flow, and practicing patience. We wanted to confirm if mandalas can help reduce the negative feelings and intrusive thoughts that come with the stress and anxiety of everyday life.
Titi felt a bit excited when we started the activity. On the contrary, Mariana felt nervous because of her impatient nature. As time moved on, we both found ourselves more focused and calmer than before. Plus, it was fun and relaxing! We found coloring mandalas extremely entertaining and surprisingly soothing, especially when listening to music. We noticed that the activity helps you understand that not everything you do is done quickly, but the results are worth it. So, of course, we recommend the activity to anyone who has time to spend and needs to focus a bit.
Tiago had always thought that mandalas didn’t work for him, but he realized he was wrong when we did the activity. He realized that when you’re coloring the mandalas, you forget about all the worries you have at that moment, and you stop worrying about coloring it perfectly or not. You just enjoy and relieve stress. Coloring in patterns takes away the worry of choosing which color you will use, so while you color mandalas, in some way you’re like a robot, you have your mind blank, and you repeat and repeat the same pattern, so in some way, you’re resting and relaxing.
In Leo’s experience, he felt pretty bored even though he’s a person who regularly likes to draw. As much as he thought it was relaxing, he got tired halfway through. Although it might not have worked for Leo, he sees why people mandalas. After all, it's still a fun meditation technique. You are mostly free to color however you’d like and in different creative patterns.
In conclusion, we confirmed that mandalas could help you relax, calm, and focus the mind. It also helps you build patience and work on your creativity. Thanks to our personal experiences, we realized that you might feel stressed, anxious, or even nervous before starting the activity. But as time goes by, you’ll eventually calm down and enjoy it. To fully enjoy the activity, you can use different techniques to color the mandala, listen to different music genres, or even do it in silence. Everything should go according to your tastes and needs.