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The Labyrinth- An Ancient Tool to Relieve Stress, Anxiety, and Anger

Greg Gerkens

Educational professional Greg Gerkens has worked as a special education teacher and assistant principal. As an educator, Greg Gerkins served on a team that secured a grant for the construction of a labyrinth, which students could use to increase mindfulness and address acting-out behaviors.

Labyrinths date back at least 3,500 years and make appearances on most continents throughout prehistory. Many people think that labyrinths are mazes, but they are actually meditation devices that take people along a single winding path toward the center of the structure. A labyrinth involves a single path with no tricks or choices and individuals follow the same path.

Walking the labyrinth appeals to the right brain, which is responsible for creativity and imagination. Many people enter into a contemplative or meditative state as they make their way along the path, which clears the mind of thoughts and mitigates anxiety. People often see the labyrinth as a metaphor for life. Each person is on his or her path that is full of twists and turns. The labyrinth can also be seen as a mirror of the pilgrimage tradition.


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