Feeling Sketchy & Stressed Out? The Surprising Health Benefits of Doodling by Carol Edmonston The Doodle Lady
Can doodling really help relieve stress for better health? I am living proof that it can. Having fought and beat cancer twice, I credit this seemingly mindless and frivolous activity that quickly became a powerful meditation practice.
How does it work? The rhythmic and repetitive motion of doodling draws us into a deeply relaxed state that can help mitigate harmful effects of stress. By synchronizing the hand and eye – thereby allowing the coordination of body and mind – doodling can become a calming and meditative experience,” a Forbes article states.
Here is my “Sacred Doodle” method, briefly summarized:
Get comfortable. Close your eyes. Commit to be present in the moment and let go of any expectations of the outcome. Take slow, deep breaths. In the time it takes to breathe in and out, doodle an outline without lifting your pen from the paper, beginning and ending at the same point. Ask yourself how that made you feel. Were you OK with not knowing where it was going? Or did you feel stressed, wondering if you were doing it right? On the back of the page, write down any feelings or stressors you’re having at this moment, or in your life.
Fill in in your doodle with any shapes or colors you like, focusing on the moment without worrying about the outcome. Whenever you want, stop and again ask how you feel. Jot down any feelings on the other side of the paper. Resume doodling
Whenever you feel done, stop. Take a moment to look at your doodle without judgment. Turn it 90 degrees. It looks completely different. Turn it another 90 degrees, for another entirely new view of the same doodle. It’s all a matter of perspective. Take a moment to appreciate how all the separate parts of your doodle came together to make a one-of-kind masterpiece, just like your life.
Doodling is fun, relaxing and can be practiced anytime, anywhere, by anyone – regardless of age or artistic ability.
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