Can Doodling Help?

By Robin Bush, ISR Communications

When you were in school, students who doodled in the margins of their papers were thought to be the ones who were not paying attention to the lesson. It has since been discovered that doodling focuses attention, and someone who doodles does a superior job retaining the information they hear while doodling. Harvard Health reports up to a 29% increase in information retention. Doodling even relieves distress. Dr. Robert Burns, the former director of the Institute for Human Development at the University of Seattle, uses doodles to diagnose the emotional problems of his patients. He believes that doodles can reveal what is going on in the unconscious. 

So, the next time you are feeling stuck, bored, drowsy, stressed, or disengaged, try doodling. It will activate your brain with just 30 minutes of doodling.

If it’s hard to let yourself be free enough to make your own doodles, hundreds of doodling books are available online to get started. Search for “doodling books for adults” (also often called adult coloring books) or “doodling cards for adults” to make cards from your doodles. Or search images for “free printable doodles for adults” or free printable Zentangles” to download and print doodles to color. Then, pick up some colored pencils at the thrift store and start doodling! It’s fun and can help you feel better too!