Hands up if you're a fellow doodler! Now keep them up if you've ever experience doodle shame. Yea, us too.
We've all been conditioned to believe that doodling means that you are totally spaced out and completely unfocused. It's a bad habit we need to break... or is it?
What if all that doodle shame has been stopping you from doing something awesome? What if doodling offers a ton of benefits?
Turns out that doodlers are tapping into a powerful tool for memory retention, stress relief and tons more. You deserve to live a doodle-shame free life. So let's bust some doodling myths and look at what makes doodles so wonderful.
No Artistic Skills Required
For any non-doodlers in the house, doodling is a form of spontaneous drawing. And you don't need to be a skilled artist to join in, because it's all about no-judgement, freestyle scribbling.
On the surface it seems like a silly, distracting activity, which has given doodling a bad rap. And that makes doodlers feel like they need to stop indulging.
But whether you're drawing in the margins of your notebook, or filling up a blank page in your journal, you have a ton to gain.
Benefits of Doodling
1. Better Memory
Your fun scribbles and swirls aren't a distraction. They're helpful memory tools!
But don't just take our word for it. According to Sunni Brown, author of The Doodle Revolution: Unlock the Power to Think Differently, doodlers retain up to 29% more information than non-doodlers. And the smarties at Harvard agree. So you aren't tuned out when you doodle, you're all the way tuned in.
2. Boost Focus
Think of doodling as a visual language. It's a quick, fun and easy way to focus.
Scribbling and drawing freely helps your brain make sense of your experiences, fill in any gaps in memory and bring your attention to the present. This helps you relax and concentrate. And you'll make it through even the most boring presentation focused and absorbing all that dry info. Look at you, rocking it with your doodles!
3. Problem Solve
You're better focused, you're retaining more information and now you're ready to problem solve, beyouty.
Drawing freely can help your mind work things out, especially if you're struggling to concentrate. It may even help you analyze things from a new perspective. And before you know it you could experience that incredible ah-hah moment. Just let your mind and pen wander freely, your magnificent mind will do the rest.
4. Relieve Stress
While you doodle away, you're also activating your brain's reward pathways. Your mind is a big fan, and those feel good moments can boost your self-perception, improve your mood and make you feel amazing.
Doodles can also be a tool for emotional expression, helping you work through those stressful moments and feel better.
Not to mention, retaining more information is going to ease a ton of stress too. So doodle away.
5. Get Your Ideas on Paper
Have a majorly awesome idea? A quick doodle can get that idea on paper fast. And once you're done, you have a great visual starting point.
The best part - your doodles don't have to make sense to anyone but you. Your bestie might see a bunch of random scribbles, but as long as you see the beginnings of your genius ideas on paper you're winning!
This is a tool that professionals like Frank Gehry Rolls, the creator of amazing buildings, including the Walt Disney Concert Hall, regularly use to begin work on their creations. So you're in good company if this works for you too.
6. Express Yourself
A doodle session is a lovely form of free, creative expression. Something many of us don't do often enough.
When you were a kid, you drew, painted and coloured without self-criticism. It didn't matter if you were good at it. You were having fun, that's what mattered. And it should matter still; you deserve to have some judgement free, artistic fun.
Since doodling is a form of spontaneous, judgement free drawing, it provides you with an enjoyable, pressure free way to express yourself creatively. And can even be a helpful way to work through creative blocks. How cool is that?!
Now that's a lot of fantastic benefits from a simple doodling session!
So bust out your pens and pencils, ladies, and scribble away. And next time you face doodle-shame, you can let them know that you're probably way more focused than they are, thank you very much.