Coloring to Reduce Stress and Anxiety

mandala coloring

If you suffer from stress and anxiety, you are not alone. Luckily, there is a new trend amount adult that reduces stress, help one be more mindful, and manage anxiety: coloring for adults!! From accountants, bankers, doctors, to recovering addicts, to celebrities, and stay home moms, many people are enjoying the healing properties of coloring.

There are a variety of coloring books for adults on the market. Twelve of the 20 best sellers books on Amazon are coloring books. Also, Pinterest has spread the word about this amazing phenomenon with several coloring boards, techniques and free printable templates.

The Question → Is coloring truly an effective healing modality?

The facts
In an interview with FoxNews, New York-based clinical psychologist Dr. Ben Michaelis expressed that indeed coloring possesses calming properties. It is a structured activity; it activates the logic part of the brain, and generates a creative mindset.

“Because it’s a centering activity, the amygdala, which is the part of the brain that is involved with our fear response, actually gets a bit, a little bit of a rest,” Michaelis said, “and it ultimately has a really calming effect over time.”

Additionally, people feel that with coloring they don’t need to verbalize the stress they are experiencing, instead they can release their emotions through the use of color, shapes and artistic patterns.

Knowing that coloring can be a healing activity, WHAT should you color?

Coloring Mandalas
A study done by The American Art Therapy Association shows that coloring mandalas can reduce anxiety. In this study, 84 students were assigned to color a mandala, plaid form, or to color on a blank paper. Results showed that the group of individuals coloring mandalas experienced more reduction in anxiety than the unstructured coloring groups did.


Mandalas are circular designs, originated in India, that symbolize holiness and the never-ending notion of life. Their symmetrical patterns and complexity helps draw individuals to a more relaxing state of mind. Coloring mandalas combines elements of art therapy, such as coloring a form; with meditation elements for the individual can deeply concentrate on a soothing experience.

Coloring has a meditation technique
Not everybody can sit still and calm their mind for 30 minutes every day. Coloring offers a new alternative to meditation. Instead of fighting thoughts, coloring allows you to focus on a physical activity while being mindful, and silence if you choose to.

The activity offers structure towards a meditative state that involves your mind and body, while focusing on coloring. It forces you to be fully present and engaged in what you are doing at the moment. As a result, you simply focus on the colors and shapes, effortlessly releasing other thoughts, fears, and anxieties. This produces a calming and soothing effect.

Are you ready to reduce stress and calm your mind as you color?

Our Meditation Coloring book is coming out soon!

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The Power of Your Mind

Your mind and your body are connected in such an amazing way. And so deeply in fact, that your mind has intense power over your body. Because of this intense power, your mind is able to create ease or disease in the body through what your mind thinks and the feelings those thoughts create.

An important aspect of creating wellness in the body is an ancient process called creative visualization. Creative visualization is guided imagery used to create a detailed sequence of occurrences and feelings. Continuing to utilize this method daily inspires habitual positive emotions and thoughts. Since the mind does not distinguish the difference between what is real and what is imagined, the body responds as if the visualization is actually occurring. This leads to good feelings and emotions, as well as healing taking place in your body.

We live in a world where most ailments are thought to be created by exterior conditions. Yet the truth is that the biggest factors of these ailments are stress, anxiety and negative emotions. The mind however, can create healing and strength; building tissue, building muscle, even building skill.
There are many accounts and testimonies of the effects of visualization on the body. One was a study conducted by Dr. Biasiotto at the University of Chicago. Biasiotto was interested in the power of visualization in athletes. He chose to study the college’s basketball team.

He split the men into three groups and recorded the number of free throws each group could make. He then had the first group practice free throws for an hour each day for thirty days. The second group visualized themselves making free throws for thirty days, but did not physically practice. And the third group did not practice, nor did they visualize.

After the thirty days he tested the groups again. The first group improved their free throws by 24%. The second group, who only visualized their free throws, improved by 23%! And the third group did not improve, as expected.

There have been many accounts of the body being healed from intense disease, such as cancer, HIV, Parkinson’s, among others.

Dr. David R Hamilton, author of How Your Mind Can Heal Your Body, describes how positive thoughts and emotions “mold the structure of the brain and change our body at a cellular level.”

In 1957, a story was reported in the Journal of Protective Techniques of Mr. Wright, a cancer patient who had only days to live. He begged his doctor to give him a new medicine called Krebiozen, a drug that was not approved for treatment yet. Although the drug was only being offered in clinical trials, the doctor reluctantly agreed, seeing as he did not have any other options for his patient. To his surprise, within a week, Mr. Wright’s symptoms had all but disappeared. His “tumor masses had melted like snowballs on a hot stove” and ten days later he walked out of the hospital, cancer free.

Yet, months later when it was revealed that Krebiozen was not an effective treatment for cancer, Mr. Wright fell into a deep depression and his cancer came back, threatening his life once again. This time, his doctor told him that he had found a newer, better version of Krebiozen. The doctor injected the patient with nothing but distilled water, but his patient, believing he had the cure for his condition, again became healed. Again his symptoms were gone, and his body completely restored, his cancerous tumors gone.

Unfortunately, some time later, the American Medical Association published an article about Krebiozen, calling the drug utterly worthless. Mr. Wright learned of the article and died a few days later.

These stories are just some of many accounts that prove the power of the mind over the body.Whether you desire to heal an illness, improve an athletic skill, or change the size and shape of your body, imagine what you can do if you combine creative visualization with action!

To start, take ten minutes upon waking, and ten minutes before you go to sleep at night, to visualize your body in its ideal state. Whether you have an illness, a painful condition, or you are looking to change your weight or muscular build, simply imagine your body as you would like it to look and feel.

As you visualize, truly feel how it feels to be in this body you are imagining. Envision doing the activities that you love to do, the way it feels to look in the mirror, and the emotions that come with having a healthy and happy body.

As you continue to do these visualizations, you might have some inspired thought as to how to take action to achieve this healthy body. If this happens, I recommend you follow your inspiration, as action combined with visualization is even more powerful!

The power of your imagination will amaze you! Happy visualizing!

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The Power of Positive Thinking

Practicing daily affirmations is a powerful method for promoting positive habits, thoughts and emotions. Not only is it powerful, it is also easy and effective. As human beings, our subconscious mind acts upon natural instinct. This natural instinct is cultivated by what the mind focuses on the most. Therefore, if there is negative dialogue constantly being repeated mentally and verbally, you will find that your subconscious mind naturally directs its attention towards negative things.

However, if you focus your conscious mind on positive things, and refrain from focusing your attention on negative thoughts and actions, you can train your subconscious to focus mainly on the good stuff, and create positive habits and a happy life.

Here are some ways to practice positive thinking:

Distract Yourself: Play a piece of music you love, get into nature, watch a comedy, or spend time with positive people. It is possible to take your attention off of things that give your feelings of anxiety or stress by refocusing your attention. It will take some practice, but by consistently redirecting your mind, you will find yourself feeling more and more at ease. The more you are willing to refocus your attention, the happier and more productive you will become.

Stop complaining:  Eckhart Tolle once said, “when you complain, you make yourself a victim. Leave the situation, change the situation or accept it. All else is madness.” When you complain, you focus your attention on the problem, not the solution. If you want your life to improve, it is beneficial to place your attention on what you do want. This way you are more inclined to find a solution, instead of perpetuating the negative situation.

Practice daily affirmations: practicing daily affirmations can help you create the best life possible. By consistently speaking positive words, you can actually restructure the brain and think significantly more positive thoughts, relieve anxiety, and utilize the law of attraction. By affirming your positive thoughts and wishes you allow the things and feelings you desire to come into your reality.

Here are some positive affirmations to use daily:

I love and approve of myself
I love my own company
I focus my attention on the present moment
When I am conscious of my breathing I can feel calm and centered
I am in tune with my intuition and it keeps me safe and aware
I enjoy making the right choices for myself
I am powerful beyond measure
Each day I am getting better and better
I trust my intuition
I have so much to offer this world that is unique and special
My current situation is working out for my highest good and
wonderful things unfold before me.
I forgive myself for the negative choices I have made. They are in the past and I am focused on the present.
I choose to find hopeful and optimistic ways to look at life.
I choose friends who approve of me and love me.
I surround myself with people who treat me well.

Write your favorite affirmations on a post-it to place on your bathroom mirror, or at your desk or place of work. Repeat these affirmations through out your day to train your mind into more positive and healthy habits.

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Focus Your Way to Happiness

Every day we wake up with a choice: what am I going to focus on today? Many people make the same choice each and every morning, most without consciously doing so: choosing a negative thought, always instantly followed by a negative emotion. This choice, whether conscious or subconscious, determines a great deal of the rest of your day, unless you consciously choose to change the momentum of your thoughts and feelings and choose to feel better. The key is to think positive thoughts as much as possible, thereby fueling our positive emotions.

Since we have between 50,000 and 70,000 thoughts per day, it would be impossible to monitor our thoughts and only think happy thoughts. However, we can do our best to monitor our feelings. This is made possible through becoming more and more aware of how we are feeling. We are either feeling good or not so good, yet we are often not aware of exactly what emotion we are experiencing.

Start being more aware by evaluating how you are feeling. The scale below from Abraham Hicks is a great representation of our inner guidance system of emotions. Our emotions are the indicator:  the best way of telling whether we need to change our thinking or whether we are where we want to be, thinking thoughts that benefit us.

emotional guidance scale

As you can see, we never jump from the bottom to the top in one step. We take steps to get to the top of the scale, where joy, empowerment, and appreciation are, or to the bottom of the scale, where we find ourselves in despair, powerlessness or feeling like a victim.

Begin to ask yourself, how am I feeling right now? And, where am I on the Scale? As you begin to become more and more aware of your emotions, you can reach for a better feeling one, and then a better feeling one, until you find yourself on the positive upward spiral of the Scale. For example, if you are feeling very hopeless or depressed, reach for the relief of Anger. There is power in anger, there is value in anger. Once you have practiced this feeling enough that you feel ready to move up the scale, reach for the better feeling emotion of Worry. Once you are ready, reach for Impatience, and when you are feeling ready to feel better, reach for some Hope. And as you feel hopeful, practice this feeling as much as you can. And when you feel good enough, make your way up the scale to find Positive Belief, then Enthusiasm, and Happiness and Joy.

This process can take time, some of my clients may take twenty days to work their way up. When we have practiced a way of feeling for a long period of time, our subconscious goes there very easily. Therefore we have to train our subconscious to practice different thoughts and feelings for a while before it begins to come naturally. This means that the more you practice an emotion, the easier it will become. You will eventually reach a point where you find yourself on the positive side of the scale most of the time.

There are several ways to practice positive emotions. You can practice writing a gratitude list each morning. Practice appreciation throughout your day, even with the little things. Create a piece of art; painting, drawing and coloring are effective ways to practice positive emotions.  Meditation and mindfulness are also powerful methods for bringing your way up the Emotional Scale.  One of my favorite ways to reach for better feeling thoughts is to visualize fun and exciting experiences. The mind is so powerful that it cannot distinguish between something being real or imagined. Pretty awesome right?

As you continue to become more aware, and you practice working your way up the scale, you will find yourself feeling better and better consistently. It will become natural for you to reach for a good feeling thought or feeling the moment that you wake up. Keep making that choice to reach for the thoughts and emotions that feel good. The rest will follow.


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All It Takes is Ten Minutes

I recently watched a TED Talk where mindfulness counselor Andy Puddicombe illustrates the power of meditation and the powerful impact it can have on our overall happiness.

Puddicombe mentions a Harvard study that found on average “our minds are lost in thought almost 47 percent of the time. At the same time, this sort of constant mind-wandering is also a direct cause of unhappiness. Now we’re not here for that long anyway, but to spend almost half of our life lost in thought and potentially quite unhappy, I don’t know, it just kind of seems tragic, actually, especially when there’s something we can do about it, when there’s a positive, practical, achievable scientifically proven technique which allows our mind to be more healthy, to be more mindful and less distracted. And the beauty of it is that even though it need only take about 10 minutes a day, it impacts our entire life.” By implementing a mindfulness routine into our daily life, we can change the way we feel, and increase our ability to focus on positive and productive things. That’s definitely something to meditate on! You can find Puddicombe’s TED Talk at
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Open the Door to Gratitude

It is becoming more and more clear to us all that the most efficient and gratifying way to become a happier person is to become more grateful. One of the first things I recommend, no matter what your current issues are, is to begin writing a daily gratitude list. This list is made up of ten things you feel grateful for. These things can be anything from your cat, to your spouse, to your favorite purse. It can literally be anything, as long as you can feel authentic appreciation as you write each thing down.

According to the New York Times, practicing daily gratitude is “linked to better health, sounder sleep, less anxiety and depression, higher long-term satisfaction with life and kinder behavior toward others, including romantic partners.” In fact, studies have shown that practicing deep feelings of gratitude through out the day motivates people to exercise more, find inner strength and confidence, and have an increasing sense of wellness and optimism.

It may sound too good to be true, but science shows us over and over again that “an attitude of gratitude” is the doorway to a better and happier life.

How can you get started? Purchase or create a journal and begin writing five to ten things you are grateful for each morning. Make this a morning ritual, something that you can practice every day upon waking. As you do this, don’t just write the words, but actually feel the feelings of appreciation and gratitude as you write. This is key in producing the benefits of the gratitude list. If you continue to practice this for thirty days there is no doubt that you will feel a positive difference in the way you feel.

Happy appreciating!


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A Simple Lesson In Balancing Your Chakras

Most of us don’t learn about our chakras as children, yet they are actually just as important as all of the other parts of our bodies. In fact, it could be argued that the most vital aspects of our bodies are our energy centers. This is because these energy centers deeply affect the physical and energetic harmony of our physiological system.

The seven major energy centers are called chakras. These chakras distribute energy through the meridians of the body, and are the activation points for the flow of energy. Every single organ, gland, muscle, tissue, and cell is supported by this energy.  If your chakras become blocked, imbalance occurs. This affects your physical, emotional and spiritual health in a very significant way.

Each of the chakras has an important function, and a corresponding color. The lower energy centers are associated with survival, creative tendencies, love, and a sense of self. The higher energy centers are associated with spiritual consciousness, communication and your intuition.

There are various ways that your chakras can become imbalanced, but the main causes are negative energy, or negative energetic patterns in your life. When the chakas are out of balance/alignment, both our bodies and our lives are likely to be out of balance as well, manifesting into physical ailments or feelings of unhappiness, anxiety or fear. Our energy centers are so deeply connected to our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health, that it is vital to create balance once we notice that our chakras need healing. You might notice that you are feeling hopelessness, or that you are complaining a lot. Or maybe are having muscle tension, or are having a hard time going to the bathroom regularly. These are all signs that your chakras need some TLC.

Now that you have a basic understanding of the chakras, and how to know when they are imbalanced, let’s talk about some ways that you can heal.

Color Therapy: As you can see in the images above, each chakra has a corresponding color. For example, the Root Chakra is red, the Sacral Chakra is orange, and the Solar Plexus chakra is yellow. You may wear the color of the chakra that need healing, which will stimulate and create balance in that energy center.

Create a piece of art: Paint or use markers or colored pencils to create or color a piece of art using the colors of the chakras you wish to balance. The more you enjoy the creation of your masterpiece, the more healing this artistic process will be.

Get into nature: Go to the beach, take a hike, practice Earthing (walking barefoot in the Earth, sand) surround yourself with plants, flowers and animals. You might also decide to use essential oils or healing crystals to treat the corresponding chakras.

Reiki: Visit an attuned Reiki practitioner. Reiki is the transference of universal energy, or “life force energy,” through the hands of the practitioner, promoting harmony and self healing in the body. Reiki healers are able to intuitively feel which chakras need balancing and are able to treat both the energetic and physical imbalances in the body.

Meditation: Spend ten minutes or more daily visualizing the colors of each chakra. Close your eyes and start at your root chakra, imagining a glowing red color at the base of your spine. See this color as a glowing red orb that continues to grow brighter and brighter. After several minutes of focusing your attention on this orb, move your attention up to your sacral chakra, slightly below your belly button. Again, imagine an orb of light, this time orange in color, growing brighter and brighter. After several minutes, move your focus up to your solar plexus chakra and repeat this method but with yellow. Continue this, as you move up the chakras, using green for your heart chakra, blue for your throat chakra, turquoise for your third eye, and violet for your crown chakra. When you have finished this, imagine a white light surrounding your whole body. Take five deep breaths, making sure to release completely each time.

Laugh: Yes laugh! Find joy, have fun, do something that feels good. You will find laughter can create a solid foundation for balance in the body, and in your life!

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