The Wisdom Behind the Doodle

Call it what you will, there is much to be gained from the doodle.

I don’t know about you guys but I am a chronic doodler. Yep, even if that is not a word, it is now. I started doodling shortly after I left the womb I feel. My doodles have since become more intricate but nonetheless, a doodle.

Photo by Dhaya Eddine Bentaleb on Unsplash

So, what constitutes a doodle?

If we consult the Oxford dictionary, it is a “rough drawing made absentmindedly”.

In the article The “thinking” benefits of doodling, it states that doodling is a form of fidgeting. When someone doodles, it’s a last chance effort to stay awake and attentive. The permission we give our brain to doodle away keeps our brain active for a bit longer.

In the article above, Dr. Pillay discusses how doodling can also relieve psychological distresses, which make it easier to attend to things. We, as humans, like to have our stories make sense. Sometimes, we experience gaps in our stories and doodling comes in to save the day.

Doodling can fill the gaps by activating the brain’s “time travel machine” allowing the brain to find those lost memory pieces and bring them to the present, making our stories whole again. This gives us a greater sense of self, which allows us to feel more relaxed and opens our concentration.

“It seems then that if you’re struggling to concentrate, find yourself stuck or feeling “incomplete,” a time-limited doodle expedition could be just the thing you are looking for. It will likely activate your brain’s “unfocus” circuits, give your “focus” circuits a break, and allow you to more creatively and tirelessly solve a problem at hand”

– Srini Pillay, MD

Steven Heller of The Atlantic posted an article The Cognitive Benefits of Doodling in 2015. He mentions doodling can be used as a tool to facilitate thinking.

“Making graphic marks predates verbal language, so whether as a simple doodle or a more deliberate free-hand drawing, the act is essential to expressing spontaneous concepts and emotions”

– Heller

You do NOT need to be an artist to create a doodle. Even the simplest of doodles can provide insight and make discoveries that aren’t possible through words alone. I can’t tell you how many times I have drawn out ideas on scrap paper or the corner of my notebook to save for later. I admit, some of those ideas were better than others but they were ideas all the same.

Photo by camiah on Unsplash

Sunni Brown, author of The Doodle Revolution, discusses how doodling is a calming activity that can be utilized to guide people from a frazzled state to a more focused one.

I have found myself doodling while sitting in lecture halls or in restaurants waiting for my food. I am sure that my server at Cody’s Roadhouse had a field day trying to figure out all of my doodles in crayon.

Photo by camiah on Unsplash

I find it relaxing to grab a pen and start doodling away on my paper or napkin, whatever is handy. No lie, it has kept me awake on more than one occasion but I was still able to listen to what was going on around me and retain that information.

If you have yet to try out the doodle, I encourage you to give it a try. It can be helpful and fun and opens up the door to great, creative possibilities. Perhaps your next doodle of socks could make you millions.

The crucial point of this entry is to encourage you to try an outlet which may assist you in everyday situations and help to create a more calming balance in the mind.

Photo by Dhaya Eddine Bentaleb on Unsplash


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