Do You Doodle?

Doodle Therapy - Psychedelic Yin-Yang - Patricia Kay

A doodle can be random scribbles, dreamy florals, ornate motifs, linear mazes or intricate, complex designs.  While common design elements are used, doodles are as unique as the person creating them.

Have you ever watched someone doodling?  They seem to be transported to another place - relaxed, but fixated on their creation.  You even begin to find yourself more relaxed just watching them.

What makes doodling different from drawing and sketching?

What sets doodling apart from drawing and sketching, is that doodling is more a reflection of an inner state - a snapshot of what one is feeling or what is going on at that moment.  And that, in itself, is the biggest benefit of doodling.

I find that drawing is more deliberate with an expected outcome, while doodling is a more spontaneous process that is more open to creative and expressive impulses.  Not only that, there is less judgment of the outcome.

Doodling, as an art form, is not taken very seriously; after all, it's just - doodling!  Right?

So, here you have a creative activity that:
  • allows you to scribble, draw or design anywhere from a simple or cartoon-like style to one that is highly skilled or complex.
  • can look silly, weird, fantasy-like or childish to sophisticated, organic or intriguing.
  • does not have to be perfect - can even be totally awful.
  • allows you to express your mood - good or bad.
  • releases tension, stress or negative energy.
  • can bring about an open and receptive creative state.
  • can help one to identify and recognize the symbols of one's mental and emotional state at any given time.
If you ask me, I think that's a pretty impressive and powerful art form!  Just by doodling and observing your current state, you can reframe or redirect your energy to anything you choose, simply by changing how and what you doodle or by letting the process flow naturally until a shift takes place.

If you don't doodle - you should try it!  It can be used:
  • as a tool for personal growth and transformation if it is done regularly in the Daily Doodle Journal.
  • to develop creativity and be the vehicle for your creative journey.
  • to bring yourself into a higher level of positive energy.
I use doodling as a daily practice primarily to release stress and keep the creative channels open.  For me, having even just a few minutes each day of creative release, is very therapeutic and keeps the creative juices flowing.

The example above is quite different than the technique I use in my Daily Doodle Journal.  In my daily entries, (examples below) I do quick, simple drawings that relate to how I am feeling both physically and emotionally and reflect my energetic state.  I follow my intuition and creative impulses rather than any pre-conceived idea as to what to draw.  The result is spontaneous and more natural looking - and sometimes a little "unusual".

Doodle Therapy - Patricia Kay

Doodle Therapy -
Finding a Delicate Balance
Patricia Kay

If I am stressed or disconnected, my doodles will reflect that. When I am not in a positive state, I will continue with additional pages until there is a shift in my energy, which will be very obvious in the drawing and how you feel.

The main purpose of the Daily Doodle Journal is not to create beautiful drawings in the journal, but rather to draw in a way that is more expressive and intuitive to enhance well-being, develop creativity and increase positive energy.  It is my therapy!

Doodling for Creative Problem Solving

Doodling is also an effective way to stimulate the mind for creative ideas and problem solving.  When you're doodling, your thought process changes.  You're in a more receptive and clear state of mind.

Need a creative idea, a solution to a problem or need to make a choice?  Try this exercise:
  • Write down your need/problem and any ideas or obstacles that you have.
  • Take a few minutes to go over your thoughts.
  • Now, using whatever you prefer - pencil, marker or crayons, start to scribble or draw, using lines, squiggles, dots or slash marks in whatever way you are feeling.  By that, I mean, if you are feeling frazzled or confused, you might express that with zig-zagging Ines scribbled across the paper.  Or if you're feeling very low energy and don't know where to start, you might have light, spotty or droopy lines that look like they're going nowhere. That's perfect, you want to start where you are and progress to where you want to be.
Caution:  Do not judge what comes out on the paper - it will only stifle the creative process.
  • Follow any urge you have to draw something - no matter how "out there" you perceive it to be.  Honor what you intuition is telling you by putting it on paper.  It might just be a symbol or clue to the answer or solution you are looking for.
  • Your doodling does not have be be an elaborate design.  It can be just a few lines or simple image (like the example above).  When you feel that it is complete, start a new page.
I usually spend only a few minutes or even a few seconds on a page and then continue with additional pages until I see and feel a shift in my energy and drawing.  When the shift happens, you will see a distinct difference in the  look and style of your doodle.  It will be either more free and relaxed or more intricate and defined.  At this point, if you haven't received an answer, you can continue with additional pages or walk away to allow the ideas to start percolating.  I like to do this before I go to bed.  Usually, by morning I will have my answer.  Bigger issues may take several days - with obstacles or negative ideas popping up that need to be addressed.
  • You can also deliberately draw images of what you are trying to achieve or get to in order to reframe or direct the process.  I prefer letting the process flow at its own pace.  For me, reframing, which I will discuss in another post, works better on something that I want to change that is known.
Sometimes, this process is not what gives you the idea or answer.  Instead, it clears all the clutter in your thinking to allow the creative process to start flowing again.

The Power of the Simple Doodle

For the cost of a pad of paper and pencil, you can get lasting stress relief, become more creative, solve problems, overcome obstacles, eliminate negative energy and change your mood.  That's pretty cheap therapy!

Happy Doodling!