9 Benefits of Doodling (Video Tutorial for Beginners)

If you’re unfamiliar with what it means to doodle, it’s drawing or scribbling while a person’s attention is occupied.

It’s possible that the urge to doodle could be hardwired in the brain. You may have seen people doing work on paper and notice doodles scattered on it.

Unfortunately, when we grow up going to school, teachers usually frown upon students doing any drawing as it’s viewed as a distraction from the task at hand.

But based on the research available, it turns out that creating doodles can benefit us in many ways. Among the benefits include more productivity, increased performance, and better learning.

Some of you might think you have to be good at drawing or painting to make doodles, but in actuality, anyone can start doing it.

Here are nine benefits of drawing doodles along with how to get started.

Nine benefits of drawing doodles

9 benefits of doodling and how to get started 1

1. Doodling can help us concentrate

A study was done to see how much information people who doodle could recall compared to people who didn’t.

The participants had just completed an unrelated psychological experiment and were thinking about going home or to a pub.

The researchers asked them to spend another 5 minutes to help them with some research. The participants were brought to a quiet room and asked to listen to a two and half minute tape that they were informed would be dull.

The tape was a rambling voicemail mentioning things such as the weather, a sick cat, a new house in Colchester, a vacation in Edinburgh involving rain and a museum, and a redecorated kitchen.

In the whole tape, eight place names are mentioned and eight people who are definitely coming to the party are mentioned.

Before it was played, the group of 40 were split in half into two groups of 20. One group of 20 people shading printed shapes while listening to the tape, while the other 20 were not.

Those who doodled, while not being explicitly told that’s what they were told to do, were instructed not to focus much about being neat or quick with shading the squares and circles.

All 40 participants had to write down the names of the people that were definitely coming to the party. That would mean the doodle group would have to switch between shading and writing down names on their list.

When the experiment was done, all the volunteers were then asked to orally recall place names and the names of people going to the party.

Those who doodled remembered 7.5 pieces of information out of a total of 16, while the non-doodle group only remembered 5.8.

The people who doodled were able to recall 29% more information than the people who didn’t. That suggests that drawing doodles can help improve our concentration.

The theory, according to psychologist Jackie Andrade, is that drawing doodles prevents one from daydreaming.

It essentially forces our brain to use just enough energy to prevent it from drifting off, but not too much to where you’re not paying attention.

2. Doodles help us to process emotions

In an NPR article on how making art helps our brain, UAB neuroscience professor Christianne Strang states that “lines, shapes, and colors translate your emotional experience into something visual.”

She does of course also mention seeking a professional art therapist if you feel you’re going through severe mental distress.

Nonetheless, making doodles can be a good activity to help you cope with the world around you and feel a little more peace of mind.

Perhaps you could even combine drawing doodles with doing some self-care journaling for a more positive effect.

3. Drawing doodles can lead to creative problem solving

Sunni Brown did a very interesting Ted-Talk on doodlers that would be worth your time to watch.

In the video, one of the benefits of drawing doodles she notes is that it enhances our ability to do creative problem solving.

Brown explains that when learning, our processing and analyzing of information for decision-making requires engaging two of four ways to intake information, or one way coupled with an emotional experience.

The four ways we intake information are visual, auditory, reading/writing, and kinesthetic. She argues that making doodles engages all four ways of intaking information while also creating an emotional experience.

4. Drawing a doodle is a good creative outlet

A creative outlet, such as drawing doodles, is a good way to boost happiness, relaxation, and as mentioned earlier, improve skills related to solving problems.

Fortunately, with creating a doodle, you don’t need much to do it consistently. As long as you have a pencil and a piece of paper, you can do it at anytime and anywhere.

Other activities like playing an instrument could take time to learn, but drawing a doodle is as simple as writing words in a journal.

5. Doodles help to lower stress

These days there are coloring books made for adults that help people lower their stress. They can benefit us in improving sleep, focus and relaxing your brain.

Similar to coloring, drawing doodles can also have the same effect.

One interesting activity you might consider is what psychologist Christine Selby recommends. Try drawing a continuous line and let it cross and curve itself multiple times.

Then use another color to fill in the spaces created by the lines that are blank. It’s been said that making that shape over and over again can be relaxing.  

6. Doodles can contribute to big-picture thinking

It’s been suggested that being too focused on something can sometimes lead us to overthinking. As a result, we lose sight of the bigger picture.

The act of drawing a doodle can get you to focus more on the main idea and concept of things, which is a part of seeing the big-picture.

Drawing doodles can be a good way to regain perspective in life.

7. Doodles improve communication skills

Creating a doodle is said to be a visual language. It involves notations, figure representations, lines, and symbols.

Artists find ways to communicate through pictures. As a result, you better understand your emotions and feelings, and that allows you to better communicate them to others.

8. Drawing a doodle can improve learning

As mentioned earlier when discussing how drawing doodles can lead to creativity in finding solutions to problems, drawing a doodle can boost our learning.

There are concepts of thinking known as diffused thinking and focused thinking, which help with learning. Focused thought involves concentrating on the subjects you’re trying to analyze and understand.

Diffused thinking is less focused and more relaxed, which allows for consuming of ideas and information subconsciously.

Take time to doodle a little to relax yourself and allow those ideas to settle into your mind better.

9. Drawing a doodle helps coordination

As we draw more, our hand-eye coordination develop and improve. Through forms of sketching such as continuous line-drawing, you have to rely on your intuition.

When you do something such as sketching without looking, the left side of your brain rejects all the details of spatial awareness, and the right side of your brain starts to take over.

You begin to trust the movements of your hands more, and perhaps in theory, improve your overall coordination.

How to begin drawing doodles

Making a doodle is one of the easiest things you can get into. Best of all, you don’t have to be the next Picasso or Leonardo Da Vinci.

One of the most popular tutorials out there on drawing doodles is one by Vexx. You can watch along and gain all the confidence you need to begin drawing doodles today.

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