Doodling, often considered a mindless activity, has gained recognition for its numerous benefits. From improving concentration to fostering creativity, doodling offers a range of advantages for individuals of all ages. Since our last subscription box included Tanya Porter’s new book “Drawing Breaths,” which talks about a powerful self-care practice that includes drawing as one of its 7 steps, I thought I’d write this blog post to quickly explore the benefits of doodling, and provide practical tips on getting started.
- Enhances Focus and Concentration:
Contrary to popular belief, doodling can actually improve focus and concentration. Research suggests that doodling engages the brain's default mode network, allowing individuals to better retain information and stay engaged during tasks. Doodling serves as a form of active listening, helping individuals maintain attention and absorb key details.
- Boosts Creativity:
Doodling is a powerful tool for nurturing creativity. It provides an outlet for self-expression and allows ideas to flow freely. By doodling in a notebook, individuals can explore different shapes, patterns, and concepts, stimulating their imaginative. It is a low-pressure way to generate unique ideas and discover new perspectives.
- Relieves Stress and Improves Relaxation:
Engaging in doodling can serve as a form of relaxation and stress relief. It provides a soothing and meditative experience, allowing individuals to unwind and express their emotions visually. Doodling promotes mindfulness by redirecting focus from stressors to the act of drawing, creating a sense of calm and inner peace. This is also explained in great detail in “Drawing Breaths.”
- Enhances Memory and Learning:
Doodling has been found to enhance memory and improve learning outcomes. When individuals doodle while listening or taking notes, it reinforces their understanding and retention of information. The combination of visual and auditory stimuli helps reinforce neural connections, making concepts more memorable and accessible.
- Sparks Inspiration and Problem-Solving:
Doodling in a notebook can act as a catalyst for inspiration and problem-solving. It allows individuals to explore and refine ideas, facilitating the generation of creative solutions. Doodling serves as a visual thinking tool, helping individuals make connections and discover novel perspectives.
Here are some tips on how to get started.
- Gather the right tools – To get started with doodling, all you need is a notebook or sketchbook and a set of pencils, pens, or markers. Experiment with different writing utensils to find your preferred medium.
- Start with simple shapes – Begin by doodling simple shapes such as circles, squares, or triangles. These basic shapes serve as building blocks for more complex designs. As you gain confidence, gradually incorporate patterns, lines, and textures into your doodles.
- Practice regularly – Consistency is key when it comes to doodling. Set aside dedicated time each day or week to engage in this creative activity. Treat it as a form of self-care and exploration, allowing yourself to fully immerse in the process.
- Explore different themes and styles – Don't be afraid to explore various themes and styles in your doodles. Experiment with nature-inspired doodles, abstract designs, or even character illustrations. Embrace your unique artistic voice and let your imagination run wild.
- Remember to show yourself grace – If doodling is new to you, you may feel lost as to how to begin or you might be critical of your early work. Remind yourself that you’re just exploring and give yourself the space to learn and get comfortable with it. Encourage yourself with kind words and open your heart to learning something new.
If you want some guidance to get started, “Drawing Breaths” in paperback is available on Amazon and is a great way to explore some drawing, and also to try a new self-care practice that can be an excellent daily practice.