Mandalas are traditionally used in many eastern spiritual traditions as a tool to aid meditation. In western culture, mental health counselors often use mandalas as a form of stress relief, a tool for art therapy, and as a meditative exercise. We have used mandala printouts with therapy groups, during stress management presentations, and as a fun little handout to leave on waiting room tables.
If you are helping a client put together a stress management plan, throw in a few of these worksheets for them to complete after a long day. Both children and adults love filling in mandalas, probably because of their relaxing nature and the satisfaction of seeing color fill the frame.
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The goal of mindfulness meditation is simple: to pay attention to the present moment, without judgement. However, as you practice, you’ll find that this is easier said than done.
During mindfulness meditation, you will focus on your breathing as a tool to ground yourself in the present moment. It’s normal that your mind will wander. You’ll simply bring yourself back into the moment by refocusing on your breathing, again and again.
Follow the instructions below to begin practicing mindfulness meditation.
Time & Place –
Aim to practice daily for 15-30 minutes. More frequent, consistent, and longer-term practice leads to the best results. However, some practice is better than no practice.
Find a time and place where you are unlikely to be interrupted. Silence your phone and other devices, and set a timer for your desired practice length.
Awareness of Breathing –
Because the sensations of breathing are always present, they are useful as a tool to help you focus on the present moment. Whenever you become distracted during meditation, turn your focus back to breathing.
Notice the sensation of air as it passes through your nose or mouth, the rise and fall of your belly, and the feeling of air being exhaled, back into the world. Notice the sounds that accompany each inhalation and exhalation.
Wandering Mind –
It’s normal that your thoughts will wander during mindfulness meditation. At times, it might feel like a constant battle to maintain focus on your breathing. Don’t worry—that’s normal.
Instead of struggling against your thoughts, simply notice them, without judgment.
Acknowledge that your mind has wandered, and return your attention to breathing. Expect to repeat this process again and again.
Mindfulness has been defined as a moment-to-moment awareness of one’s experience without judgment. This means being present in the moment, with a feeling of acceptance. Increasing one’s mindfulness can result in reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression, improved concentration, and a number of interpersonal benefits. Like any skill, becoming more mindful takes practice. Use this worksheet to develop several techniques you can use to practice and improve mindfulness. The exercises include mindfulness meditation, body scan, mindful eating, and five senses.
This worksheet will work best when you understand the need of mindfulness, and practice a few techniques regularly. Choose one technique to practice for at least 15 minutes every day. Each of these mindfulness activities can also work well in a group setting. Or, try a guided mindfulness exercise using video resource: