If doodling brings up flashbacks of teachers telling you off for drawing in the margins of your notebook, consider this article your vindication. You see, science is a great thing. Researchers have found that doodling is actually a highly effective tool to help your mental health and attention span.
And the great thing about doodling is it can be done anywhere by anyone. No skills necessary, no special equipment required.
So, how exactly is doodling going to help you calm your mind?
1. Doodling reduces your stress levels
The art of subconsciously drawing shapes and lines on a piece of paper can help you to redirect your negative energy away from your body and out into the open.
In turn, this slow, relaxing activity allows your blood pressure to reduce, leaving you feeling much calmer and ready to tackle the day.
2. Doodling keeps you alert
So, you’re deep into your third meeting of the day and fighting hard to keep your eyes open. You feel overwhelmed, stressed, and unable to keep up.
Meetings can just be plain boring. And that’s not a reflection on you. By doodling during your meeting, you activate other parts of your brain, creating a multi-sensory experience that allows your brain to focus.
And if you don’t believe me, why not go back in time and ask the majority of U.S presidents how they dealt with meetings and other stressful moments during their time in office?
3. Doodling helps with problem-solving
Doodling can help you to find links between problems that you hadn’t previously considered. This is once again thanks to activating the different parts in the brain – kinetic, auditory, visual, and reading/writing.
The variety in output allows for creative problem solving that will cut your stresses completely down.
4. Doodle sketch notes help you make plans
Sketch notes are the evolution of the mind map. Instead of putting a word in the middle and drawing lines off it to link ideas, a sketch note is all about jotting words and pictures. Think of it as a creative mood board.
As we all know, having plans in place can help to keep us calm when we feel overwhelmed, so sketch noting is a great place to start. For inspiration, have a look at these examples.
5. Doodling is therapeutic
Doodles are an excellent way to get your subconscious thoughts out onto paper in whatever way they choose to come out. This is why doodling is an effective journaling practice. It is just as therapeutic to draw your thoughts as to write them.
6. Doodling improves your memory
Studies show that doodling is an effort-free way of holding on to more information.
So, if you are stressed that you won’t be able to take in information and remember everything in your next meeting at work, don’t be afraid to doodle as you listen. Your brain will thank you for it!
7. Doodling makes you happier
It is scientifically proven that those that spend time doodling daily report feeling happier due to having a creative outlet for self-expression. It allows you to unwind and relax, leaving the stress of a tough day in the distance.
But hey, don’t just take my word for it. Go out and get your doodle on, and relish in the calmness that overtakes your body, mind and soul!