Doodling Your Way to That “A”
Do you have notebooks, worksheets, planners filled with doodles? Ever thought about why you do this, or why when you are doodling you seem to be able to pay attention more? Well according to this article put together by Canva, there are countless reasons as to how doodling affects our brains about why it is actually good for us.
We give the basics below, but for a more in-depth look at each reason, be sure to read what Canva has to say.
Doodling stops your brain from slipping into a default state
A default state is when we are daydreaming or replaying memories in our heads. And while this can be fun sometimes, it’s not especially helpful when we need to be paying attention in class. So studies suggest that though we may not be fully engaged in a lesson if we doodle, we can still retain important information being discussed.
Doodling improves your memory
If our brain doesn’t slip into that default state, then we are able to retain more information. If we can retain more information the first time we are learning about it, it will make it easier later on when we are trying to recall answers to a test.
Doodling makes you more creative
We know that the act of drawing is creative in itself, but doodling can help us come up with ideas to help us solve a problem we’ve been struggling with. They can also solidify ideas we’ve already had and make them more concrete.
Doodling helps you process emotions
It’s not always easy to put our feeling and emotions into words, but often times when we are doodling we subconsciously draw out those things that are stressing us out. So next time you notice yourself, or your friend, doodling, take a closer look at what might be going on. Doodles could give us the insight we need to help ourselves or our friends.
Doodling reduces stress
And if the thought of not getting a doodle just right stresses you out, try this technique by Christine Shelby. Start by drawing a line across the page, curve it, cross it over itself, and simply fill the page with one continuous line. Then take the same pen or another and fill in the black spaces with color. This gives the same benefits of doodling without the stress of not getting the image perfect.
Doodling helps you learn more effectively
Doodling is thought to increase the enjoyment of learning, helping to keep you more engaged with the material being presented.
Doodling can improve big picture thinking
According to Gulia Forsythe, Special Projects Facilitator for the Center of Pedagogical Innovation at Brock University, doodling is “a form of external thought that allows you to visualize the connections you are making while thinking. In the conscious mind, doodling can assist concentration and focus but even in the unconscious mind, while doodling and daydreaming connections are made.”
Doodling can help you understand yourself
Many researchers believe our absentminded scribbles give us insight into what’s going on under the surface, which can help us gain a deeper understanding of ourselves. What we doodle is thought to help us shed the layers of our egos, and shine a light on our true nature.
Doodling makes you a better listener
According to Jesse Prinz, a philosophy professor at the City University of New York Graduate Center, doodling keeps participants in a state of “pure listening” that is close to meditation. “Doodling helps hit that sweet spot between listening too much and listening too little,” Prinz says. “It keeps you in a state where your mind can’t wander, and your mind can’t also reflect or think more deeply about what you’re hearing… it’s to such a great extent that if I do not doodle, I find myself having difficulty concentrating.”
Doodling can boost your mood
Next time you’re trying to quickly lift your spirits, try doodling something that makes you smile—whether it’s your favorite pet, or a plane taking off for your next vacation.
Overall, we suggest you just add a little flair to your notes, scribble some flowers, waves, or whatever puts a smile on your face.