'It's like yoga for your brain,' doodling enthusiast says of activity often associated with distraction
HALIFAX -- Are you a doodler?
At a glance, it may seem mindless, but a Nova Scotia doodling enthusiast says the activity can actually do wonders for your brain.
New research shows a doodle a day may help keep the doctor away.
When Melissa Lloyd puts pen to paper, her patterns help put her in the present.
"It's like yoga for your brain," Lloyd says.
As the founder of Doodle Lovely, Lloyd develops doodling programs and products that can help boost creativity and reduce stress. It's like paint by numbers, but for doodling.
"I picked up a pen and started to doodle circles on a page," Lloyd says. "Next thing you know, I was continuing that process and I couldn’t believe the complete calm that that felt. You're able to just be in the moment, focus on the page and your pen, or whatever you're using, and you just lose track of time."
While doodling is traditionally thought of as a sign of distraction, new research says these marks are far beyond the senseless scribbles of a distant mind.
"They've actually confirmed, done some studies around if you're in a group meeting or if you're on the phone and you're doodling, you're actually able to retain 29 per cent more information then if you're not doodling," Lloyd says.
And, it may be good for your mental health, too. Shannon Shields says it's brought calm to her every-day routine as she adjust to working remotely -- and the challenges that come with it.
"I'm working from home like so many now, so I get a chance to step away and find something creative to do," Shields said. "It only takes about 15-20 minutes for me to do a doodle, which also gives me a sense of accomplishment when it's done."
Since the pandemic began, Lloyd has seen a big uptick in clients, including those living with PTSD.
"We use doodling and the creative process to help the healing process," Lloyd says. "Knowing that you can doodle and you can have benefits in five minutes is a really accessible way to bring that self care habit into your life."
So thank goodness for all those oodles of doodless.