Mind Yoga, Huh?
How doodling can reduce stress, improve memory and comprehension, increase productivity and create a sense of well-being, similar to meditation.
You don't have to be an artist or invest in expensive supplies to create your own art and by accident, a form of relaxation that is addicting.
Are we wired to naturally do things in a way that is more efficient?
I have always written things down, it's been a natural process, even with computers and even when need to enter the same information into a program or form, I start by writing it down.
For years I would use a notebook, when I worked, writing everything down, including who I spoke to, what we went over and any details or answers to questions I had when I booked their vacation. I used the old fashion composition notebooks and when they filled up, I would start on the next one which meant a lot of notebooks were being accumulated. Everything important from my notes I had to also enter the information in the computer and I realized I was duplicating my efforts and wasting time. I got rid of my notebooks and started to enter information directly into the computer and any notes I had, I would toss them once everything was entered.
I began to notice that I was less organized this way and I didn't remember the information as much as I did when I use my old fashion notebooks but I didn't connect the dots. I tried to write more details on the computer instead but that didn't help.
I am also someone who needs to keep their hands busy and it's very difficult for me to keep still most of the time. Even if I was watching t.v., I had to do something with my hands or talking on the phone at the computer, I would play mindless games at the same time.
Art and memory?
Still not connecting the dots, about two years ago, on 12/23/15, I had this image in my head and by the end of the day, I was almost "compelled" to draw it. Using pen, pencil, and crayons, what I could find around my house, I drew the image in my mind and I liked it. I had never been interested in art and I wasn't artistic nor did the idea of creating art ever interest me so it was odd that here I was drawing that first image.
After that one, I drew more and on the 24th, I was lost in my drawing so much so that I was forced to rush and get ready for our family dinner/holiday party.
I continued to draw, every day since that day but what I noticed was how easy it was to relax and forget about anything and everything. It was my version of mediation and it didn't matter what kind of a day i had, once I started to draw and eventually paint, I was in a relaxed state and unaware of time or anything else.
If I was tired and started to draw, within a short time I wasn't tired anymore and in fact, this became a little problem. I would find myself staying up until 2:00 and 3:00 am and forcing myself to stop. I would listen to videos when I was drawing and noticed when I looked at the picture another day, I remembered what the video was about. For some reason one day when I was working and talking to a client I started doodling on a piece of paper, mindlessly drawing lines. Two things happened when I started doing this.
Connecting the dots
1. I was more productive and doing better at work.
2. There was a connection in my mind when I was listening to my client and doodling at the same time, the connection was a much deeper connection to what my client was saying.
I began to finally connect the dots and remembered how my memory worked when I used my notebooks for work.
I had worked with over 2,000 clients over the years and some I may not have talked to for years yet, most of the time I remembered them. I would frequently remember details about someone I had not talked to in years and feeling a little embarrassed almost, why would I remember them so well.
I realized, when I was talking to a client and doodling, I wasn't paying less attention but instead, I was much more focused on what they said. I didn't know why but I wasn't just listening, in most cases, I was getting much more imagery as if I was listening with more senses than other times.
Increasing the connections in the brain produces amazing results.
It finally hit me, how I remembered clients that I had gone years without talking to them. I remembered them through remembering writing my notes. It was the act of writing that somehow connected parts of my brain together so that it was more like a memory we have when we experience something.
I love the science behind things we do and it turns out, this doodling is used for medical/physiological purposes. The benefits of meditation and deep relaxation have been proven and are well known and accepted, however, this type of drawing has similar benefits.
I have continued with my art and eventually began selling it. To my complete surprise, I have had people buy it and even pay me in advance to paint something for them. If you are interested in seeing some of my artwork, check out my art store here. You can also purchase my artwork on items like mugs, bags, pillows and of course prints, canvas, metal and varied sizes.
If you haven't tried doodling or you are looking for a way to relax, check out my page of mind yoga art, along with where to get the best deals on supplies.