Feeling stuck in your daily routine or life in general? Check out this article on how mindful doodling can help you relax and feel happier.
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Today’s post is brought to you by the talented woman, Kristy, from Diary of a Journal Planner. Sticking with my current obsession with doodling, Kristy is sharing the wonderful benefits of doodling as well as some simple tips to get you started, even if you aren’t an artist.
I’ll let Kristy take it from here.
There aren’t many of us bullet journal addicts that haven’t discovered the magic of doodles and use it often in our journals. But did you know that as well as making your bullet journal look fantastic, you are actually helping your mental health as well!?
We are here today to show you some of the amazing benefits of doodling and how doodling can help reduce anxiety while making you more mindful.
Why Doodling Is Good For You
Did you used to get caught doodling in your school books? Or often doodle when you are stuck on a problem?
Well, this is because doodling has been attributed to help you think deeper. The simple act of creating doodles soothes your mind and helps you stay focused.
As creating doodles uses your whole brain there are some great positive effects here. Some benefits of doodling according to Psychology Today:
- Promotes deep thinking and concentration
- Helps Problem solving skills
- Better Memory retention (this is perfect for bullet journalist like you and me!)
We are going to talk more about mindfulness today, but do you know exactly what mindfulness means?
Being mindful means being fully present in the moment and conscious of what is happening at that exact time. It is the opposite of letting our mind drift away, getting overwhelmed about things to come and lose touch of the matter at hand.
Mindfulness is an innate ability of the human being, but like pretty much any abilities we have it can be improved by practice.
You can practice mindfulness through a variety of moving techniques, such as yoga and sports, but also creative ones such as coloring and doodling. Even creating our bullet journal spreadscan be seen as a mindful practice we are deep a practise as we are fully aware of where we are and what we are doing.
Here are some amazing things you will gain from practicing mindfulness:
- Less stressed
- More focus
- Be More Present
- Mood Boost
- Increased Creativity
Although creating doodles for your Bullet Journal is relaxing and therapeutic in its own way, there is a little more to using doodling for mindfulness.
But before we go on, let’s get one big excuse for not doodling out of the way:
“I can’t draw!”
I hear this from a lot of readers who are not very comfortable with their drawing skills. The great answer to this is that it doesn’t matter!
Doodling purely for mindfulness is not about the picture you create. It is about the journey you take for creating the doodle. The act of doodling is where the magic actually happens in terms of mindfulness, not the finished drawing.
So please don’t let this stop you. However, if you want to improve your doodling skills for the artistic side of it you can check this comprehensive list with over 50 step by step doodle instructions that you can use to recreate these drawings.
How To Doodle For Mindfulness
All you need is a pencil or pen and some paper. It is best to start with a piece of paper that is maybe A5 or smaller when you first try mindful doodling so you don’t get overwhelmed. A blank page in your bullet journal would be perfect.
Set aside a good chunk of time where you won’t be interrupted.
Some people find that putting on some relaxing or creative music also helps the process.
Pick a starting point on your blank page. You may start with a single dot in the center or work from one corner of the page and fan out.
Start drawing using very simple lines, swirls, dots, spirals or other shapes to begin with.
Remember, this isn’t about creating a perfect pattern or it being exact. Draw free-hand and just incorporate any perceived mistakes into the design.
There is not correct way to mindfully doodle. So there are no mistakes (this idea may take a little work for the perfectionists amongst us).
Repetitive patterns work best such as mandala drawing, zentagle and abstract doodling. The more detailed and finer the lines, the deeper the concentration level. This means you are creating a more mindful practise.
We suggest using a good quality fine tip pen to get the best results.
Keep going with your pattern until you have finished your mindfulness practice. This is a very personal decision and the times may differ depending on your mood and stress levels when you started.
Trust in yourself though and you will know when you have finished.
Want to learn how to doodle? Check out this 30 Day Doodle Challenge with Daily Video Tutorials!
When To Practice Mindful Doodling
Again, this is a very personal decision. You may find you need to doodle daily or perhaps once a week is enough for your mental wellness.
Some ideas for making mindful doodling work best for you:
- Putting aside some time every week for your mental health to practice this mindfulness exercise.
- Doodle any time you are feeling particularly anxious, stressed or overwhelmed.
- Before an event or interaction that is making you nervous or upset. (Like a job interview or when you have to deal with a situation you don’t like).
- If you are feeling creatively stuck or need some help solving a problem.
- You need to relax or unwind. Instead of reaching for the wine or TV remote, try doodling instead.
- Get into the habit of doodling by taking a daily doodle challenge. These small doodles take little time to create and will easy you into practising mindfulness often.
So, why not give doodling for mindfulness a go! It is an amazing way to look after yourself and your mental health.
If you try and end up giving up after a little while. Just leave it for a while then try again another day.
Meditative practices are called practices for a reason. Just like yoga and other forms of meditation, it can take a while for you to learn how to settle and quiet your mind.
We all live such busy lives that stopping all those thoughts rushing through our brains does not come easy.
If you keep practicing though you will find that each mindful doodling session will get longer and longer and you will gain more and more benefit from it.
So, what are you waiting for? Happy Doodling.B
The ladies behind Diary of A Journal Planner are Thassia and Kirsty.
The moment we discovered the world of Bullet Journals we were instantly hooked. We loved that there was a simple system to help us get organized in life while being creative…and have an excuse to be washi tape addicts.
We have a strong passion for sharing all things Bujo to others, as we believe that anyone can get things done and be creative at the same time.
We love helping people overcome the feelings of overwhelm that modern life can bring while getting more productive and happier.
You can find out more about us and get Bujo Inspiration here.