Discover 6 Benefits of Doodling
Have you ever caught yourself doodling during a long, boring flight or while you were in a board meeting? Or perhaps you used to be fond of doodling, but you were chastised out of it when you were in school? Well, if your teachers knew any better, they would have encouraged – instead of – reprimand you. Because, as it turns out, doodling can be quite useful for your brain! Recent clinical studies have revealed that doodling has several mental and psychological or cognitive benefits. Not only is it associated with stress relief, but it is also linked with increased productivity, more effective learning, improved focus, and even better performance. And the thing about doodling is that you don’t even have to be a highly-skilled painter or know how to draw to start doodling.
What are Doodles?
Doodles are spontaneous uncensored, and non-verbal messages that take many forms – from abstract designs or patterns to images of concrete items – and surfaces from the subconscious mind. They usually symbolize thoughts, feelings, and even perception, but in visual form. Guys generally draw circles, squares, and other geometric shapes while ladies tend to sketch out faces. It is believed that this unusual activity serves as a window to an individual’s internal landscape. Doodling is also used as a tool to diagnose emotional issues quickly. Therefore, ladies and gentlemen, be ready to break out your pens and start doodling happily because the following are 6 – out of many – benefits of doodling:
1. Doodling Helps to Improve Your Concentration
Research about people who love doodling was conducted by a psychologist known as Jackie Andrade a few years ago and the results published in a journal – i.e., Applied Cognitive Psychology – in 2009. It was discovered that people who doodled often remembered more information than non-doodlers. Andrade speculates that doodling can help you to concentrate since it requires ample cognitive efforts to prevent you from daydreaming, but not enough to stop you from paying close attention to what is happening or going on around you. Put differently, one of the enormous benefits of doodling is that it enables you to anchor your attention as well as helping you to stay engaged instead of losing concentration.
2. Doodling Encourages Humor
You will agree that everyone needs a good laugh once in a while, especially when you are lonely and blue. Doodling can come into play when you draw funny or exaggerated faces – of your boss, family member, etc. – thereby activating your mind’s humorous side. When you do this, you are unconsciously tapping into the right frontal lobe of your brain, the area that is often referred to as the mind’s “funny bone.”
3. Doodling Alleviates Stress and Improves Your Focus
Doodling has been proven to provide relief from distress. It helps by making sense of lost pieces of puzzles – that may otherwise have remained irrecoverable – and bringing them into the present so that you can picture your lives as a whole again. Not only will you feel more relaxed, but your concentration will peak as well.
4. Doodling Keeps You in the ‘Present Moment’
A few journalists have been known to use doodling as an exercise to conceive or conceptualize the state of a particular situation that they need to report. Some even use doodling to recall the personalities of individuals they are interviewing reliably. Doodling helps to keep you in the ‘present moment’ in several ways, thereby reflecting the aim of mindfulness.
5. Doodling Serves as an Outlet for Creativity
Creativity boosts problem-solving skills, relaxation, and even happiness. However, only a few people have creative outlets that they engage in systematically. Doodling, therefore, is the answer to this confusion. You can doodle at any time and anywhere with nothing but a pen and a piece of paper. If you are looking for a creative but straightforward outlet without a high learning curve, start doodling for at least 5 minutes a day. Doodling can be very satisfying and fun, too.
6. Doodling is Rewarding
Apart from the obvious cognitive benefits of memory and attention that doodling provides, several studies have shown that making art and drawing is incredibly rewarding, and the brain knows – and – proves it. One study, in particular, examined the freeform drawing of doodlers as well the way they colored geometric patterns. It was discovered that this seemingly negligible activity stimulated more flow of blood to the prefrontal cortex, the reward center that is activated by chocolate, laughter, or dancing.
As you can see, doodling holds a lot of cognitive benefits that you cannot do without. You no longer have any reason to feel ashamed or self-conscious when doodling. So, doodle away and start enjoying these immense benefits right away!