April is stress awareness month.
For most of us, our “normal” is operating at a chronic stress level. Heightened cortisol levels are the norm in our daily lives. This leads to an inability to focus, concentrate, and perform our best when it comes to both work and play. Putting pen to paper or pen to tablet for 5 minutes a day gives you a creative break from stress.
Here’s why creative mindful doodling is a fast and effective way to help you de-stress:
- Doodling is one of the most accessible and effective ways to help relax the mind so it can integrate and process information
- The repetitive, rhythmic motion of doodling increases blood flow to the prefrontal cortex of the brain, for a calming effect on our emotions
- Doodling provides a safe creative outlet that helps people manage emotions and neutralize negative feelings without judgment
Ready to doodle?
1) Settle yourself into a spot where you can feel comfortable and free of distractions. It this is not possible, put a set of headphones on with your favourite calming music. Here is one of my favourites HERE.
2) As this is both a creative and a mindfulness brain break, take a pause to bring your thoughts to the moment. give yourself permission to take a 5-minute break from your to-dos, any responsibilities and even from your worries. Don’t worry. They’ll still be there for you when you finish.
This short mindfulness exercise will help you to focus more fully on and get briefly lost in the creative activity below.
1) Pick up your favourite mark making tool.
2) On your page doodle a big square.
3) Inside this square, start to doodle circles. Big, small, ones that fit inside of one another. Whatever feels right for you.
4) Have you eyes follow the tip of your mark making tool as complete each circle. It's important to connect the line of the circle, as this signifies completion or being whole.
5) Doodle and repeat....
6) Take notice how you feel when you are doodling. Sometimes we can feel impatient, as our minds want to judge and as we are a doing nation. Each time you come and doodle, give yourself permission to enter this space with no expectations. Practice the process.
There you have it! A tool that can help bring greater calm and lower your stress levels.
Are you looking for other doodle activities? Click HERE.