Feeling Stressed? How about Doodling? says Hamingway
Drawing, or painting if that matters, is known to be a relaxing activity.
But you don’t have time for such a thing? No worries, this is about ‘doodling’!
It could be doodling an illustration or random writing, or a pattern, etc…
Yes, doodling like how you can fiddle with your fingers with a pen, on a piece of paper or a notebook, without properly looking at what you are doing. Even a busy business person or a busy mummy may be able to find such opportunities during a day or a night given that your focus or dedication is totally not required.
Here are the examples of doodling opportunities during a busy life:
- During a phone call
- While kids draw beside you
- When you can’t sleep
- While talking to a close friend or a spouse
- In a class
- When you are feeling nervous and can’t do anything else
Quite ordinary… but it is a matter of spotting these occasions where your hands are free.
Fight against Potential Depression and Anxiety
I particularly believe a new habit of doodling may be a life-saver for mums with postnatal depression.
Stay-at-home mothers seem to have plenty of ‘time’ during the day – yet the reality of having no time to focus on anything can be very frustrating. Time is there but it’s not entirely yours. So what can you do besides trying to distract yourself from the frustration?
The same thing can be said for people in other situations.
The answer is, move your fingers physically – on a sheet of paper. On a sheet of paper just so that you can see you’ve done it, and that’s doodling.
Now, the thought of drawing on a sheet of paper might put you off.
You might be thinking like:
‘I can’t draw so isn’t it going to be more frustrating to try doing that?’ or
‘If what I draw looks ugly, my confidence will be crushed again since I’m already depressed’
But again, I am not talking about drawing. Drawing requires some results on the sheet but doodling doesn’t!
What I mean is, it definitely doesn’t have to be as committing as drawing to have the stress relieving effect and we should take advantage of it.
I shall call this activity and the affect Doodle Healing.
The important point of Doodle Healing is not doodling for a result or purpose but the physical act of it.
It is scientifically proved at various occasions that finger movements stimulate our brains positively. After I experienced it myself, I came to believe that moving fingers such as the act of doodling stimulates the moody part of the brain and breaks the negative cycle of demotivation, if not only for relaxation.
The amazing fact is that you don’t need any dedication to it, and this is also why I want to let people know about the benefit of doodling as doodle healing.
I know how de-motivating when new dedication is required when you already struggle with things you have to deal with in your life. It makes it seem like nothing is possible for you to achieve.
It’s just a habit you might like to make available to yourself, and that’s as simple as leaving a pen and a paper ready on your desk or a table. If you forget, that’s fine too. Not a biggie.
For students in a class, I might get scolded for suggesting such a thing but doodling in a class can actually make you focus better if you are nervous. For example, if you need to present something and you are nervous just by thinking of it, then go ahead and doodle on your notebook before focusing on your secret revision.
And I’m sure many of you have already done it already.
There is a reason why you do it and I want to point out the fact it is a benefit rather than a bad behaviour.
A Little Break (but not an actual Break) for Mums
How about doodling with kids? It is feasible because you can do it together with them without a lot of preparation and without you getting bored and tired. The key is to enjoy it yourself.
If the kids manage to focus a little and you created a piece of something, then you can keep it for the next time to colour them together.
Doodle Healing doesn’t require a result in any way, because failing to leave a result is stressful by itself.
That being said, it would be nice if the healing act could leave some visual creations for you to enjoy. Looking at things you like is also a process of healing, so if you could reach that level in yourself (doesn’t have to be for audience outside yourself yet), then I hope you continue to grow this into a hobby.
For those who are more interested in doodling, I will be writing about doodling info and tips.
Please write me any feedback and I will try to follow-up in my future posts.