Remember drawing your sixth-grade teacher with devil horns in your notebook, or doodling flowers, stars, or Homer Simpson during a long business meeting? I’ve been guilty of these scenarios. But happily, I no longer feel like a slacker. Turns out, making inane marks or whimsical drawings of your uptight boss could be productive and healthy. Last summer, The Wall Street Journal ran a report on doodling, citing benefits discovered through numerous studies, the WSJ consulted the author of a new book, “The Doodle Revolution,” by Sunni Brown.
"It's a thinking tool," Brown, an Austin, Texas, author, told the WSJ, explaining that doodling can affect how we process information and solve problems.
That means doodlers are actually not “spacing out.” The activity can help to keep you engaged in the present moment and better able to process information in a variety of situations, such as a business meeting or a lecture.
If you suffer from anxiety, doodling can help relieve your symptoms. My own anxiety “tool box” includes yoga, meditation, hula-hooping and doodling. When anxiety strikes, drawing random designs helps me to refocus my scattered, panicky thoughts. It's quite soothing. I also love looking at what the artists on Doodlers Anonymous are up to. I never dreamed that some of my grade school doodles would positively influence my future career as an artist. I’ve actually incorporated some of my mindless scribbles into paintings, jewelry, prints and cards.