How do you doodle?

There's a lot more to all that seemingly random scribbling than meets the eye

Traditionally seen as something we do subconsciously, deciding to doodle is different from doing it organically. However, this method is often used to reset the brain and rewire attitudes and emotions, so it can still help to improve wellbeing.

Here are a few things you might try:

  • Repetitive doodling can aid relaxation, so begin by drawing lines or basic shapes, such as circles, squares, triangles or combinations of them all. Don’t worry about the complexity – this is just a starting point.
  • Take note of how the shapes make you feel. Try not to judge their appearance, go with your instinct and keep in mind graphologist Tracey’s advice: ‘A true doodle is drawn continuously, without lifting the pen from the page.’
  • Once you have some shapes, try shading them. Take note afterwards of the kind of pressure you’ve used, whether it’s light or heavy and how that makes you feel. Tracey notes that shading is seen psychologically as tension release, stating that ‘the firmer the pen strokes, the deeper the anxiety’.
  • Try letting the shapes evolve into something more. They might turn into recognisable objects such as flowers, clouds or faces, but they could also be abstract.
  • When you’ve spent enough time doodling, come away from your creation and look at what you have scribbled. Think about what emotions it provokes.
  • If you’d like to try more traditional doodling, keep a pen handy for moments when you’re bored or daydreaming. You might be on the phone or waiting for someone – or you could be trying to work through something difficult. Let your thoughts guide your pen and see where it takes you.

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