(Even if you think you aren't good!)
Growing up, I was such a doodler! I would doodle in school, church, at home.. it even got me into trouble at times.
I swear doodling helps my brain pay attention! It helps me stay focused, clear headed, and I get to practice something I love to do.
I'm lucky that my parents and teachers supported my interest in art; though I get it, someone who is doodling doesn't look like they are paying attention.. but looks can be deceiving!
Research in psychology and neuroscience have recently demonstrated that people who doodle are better at grasping new ideas, staying focused and are (duh) more creative!
Doodlers use the pen and paper as a way of creating ideas, and constructing thought! Even if the doodles come out as flowers, checkers, and stick figures. Studies show that it may still be relevant within the mind.
Here are 5 reasons why you should be making art daily!
1. Doodling aids in focus and memory retention
People intake information through 4 learning methods, visual, auditory, reading (& writing) and kinesthetics. We usually need to combine 2 of these methods plus create an emotional connection in order to learn something and retain the memory.
When we draw or doodle we are actually utilizing all four of the learning methods, and in most cases the doodle will also create an emotional response!
When you doodle during a meeting or a conversation you actually stop and anchor that part of your brain that daydreams... keeping you in that moment and conversation. Doodling requires very few deliberate decisions from the brain. Just enough cognitive brain activity to keep your mind from wandering too much.
According to this study by Science Daily "Doodling while listening can help with remembering details, rather than implying that the mind is wandering as is the common perception. According to a new study in the journal of Applied Cognitive Psychology, subjects given a doodling task while listening to a dull phone message had a 29% improved recall compared to their non-doodling counterparts."
2. Doodling can help you deal with your emotions!
Many of my sketchbook pages were (and still are) filled with scribbles, scratches and spirals.. I did them when I was angry, anxious or frustrated. Of course there were plenty of checkers, hearts, feathers, and other things I doodled when I was happy. Doodling helped me release a lot of those teenage emotions!
Doodling and drawing is a physical manifestation of an inner thought or emotion. Doodling, drawing and scribbling helps express emotions that we don't quite have words for.
Sometimes we feel negative emotions, like anger or sadness, and while these "negative" emotions have their importance in our lives, we can process and release them! Doodling gives us the opportunity and outlet to release that emotion through the physical movement of the hand while creating something physical.
You can also set intentions with doodling! Try out this great technique for Emotional Doodling Technique!
3. Drawing can help you problem solve
While we are drawing and giving the mind a break, we are actually allowing our subconscious to work through our problems. Using the right side of the brain opens the mind to new ideas of constructive creative thought.
Sometimes your brain just needs to switch gears! If you've been over thinking a situation in your head, try under thinking it for a bit by doing something creative. You'll be surprised at how quickly your answers can come to you when you just turn your mind off for a second!
Drawing helps distract the mind and bring it into a calm and peaceful state! Loosing one's self in something creative can give the stressed and tired mind a break.
(Want to try it for yourself? Download some free meditative mandalas here!)
4. Doodling keeps you creative!
Drawing keeps the right side of the brain active and practicing daily doodles will make you better at drawing. I can seriously promise this one. If you want to get good at drawing.. then start to draw every single day. You will eventually get better and look back over your old drawings and not only be amazed at your growth.. but at all things that you will find you like drawing! Doodling is like unlocking your mind. You may start out doodling basic shapes and flowers, but after 30 days your doodles will begin to take on a new life!
Ever feel like you are in a creative funk? Try free-doodling! (kinda like free-writing) Just start doodling random stuff and fill up your page. You might start out with something simple, but just keep going. Draw over your mistakes, scribble furiously, try new things, and you will soon find ideas and inspiration flooding to you.
"When the mind starts to engage with visual language, you get neurological access that you don't have when you in linguistic mode." Sunny Brown Author of The Doodle Revolution
5. Doodling can give you insight to your inner-self!
Not all people agree on this one, but there are many philosophical studies on the link our doodles may have with our emotions and subconscious. Doodling allows the mind to express itself through symbolic expression. Symbols are universally known, but they also have personal meaning to us. According to this study, being given the opportunity to doodle has changed the way these individuals express their emotions!
"The soul never thinks without a picture."
Aristotle, 384-322 BCE
Doodling has long been seen as a wasteful past time, but it is now gaining more recognition for it's true value! Making art daily can calm your mind, open yourself up to your own creative flow, help express your emotions and help give you clarity of mind. The results of daily creativity can show up in many different ways and areas in life.
Creativity is one of the greatest qualities we possess! When we practice it daily we allow it to develop and grow, and the benefits of a creative mind soon leak out into other areas of our lives!
How much time do you allow yourself to be creative? Are you a compulsive doodler too?