Modern lives can be so busy that it’s often easy to sometimes overlook your own health and wellbeing.
In a work environment, managing your stress levels can sometimes feel like a full-time job on its own.
The good news is that there are many well-known ways that you can adopt to relieve unhealthy pressure levels to keep your health and wellness in good shape.
These include getting regular exercise, eating well, looking after your sleep patterns and drinking plenty of water.
Did you know that doodle art is another stress-busting activity that many workplaces are now embracing?
With 12.8 million working days lost due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety and 602,000 workers in the UK suffering from work-related stress, depression or anxiety (new or longstanding) (according to the Health and Safety Executive’s latest Labour Force Survey (LFS)), this is an easy and relaxing that anyone can try either at home or in a team-building exercise at work with their colleagues.
What is doodle art?
Doodle art happens when a thought from our unconscious self comes out as a drawing of a shape or sketch. It’s an art form that doesn’t involve much of our conscious mind.
If a little more thought or effort is put into a drawing, your piece of artwork can be interpreted, just like someone would be able to do using a language.
Doodle art is a practice I teach which can help you to communicate your emotions or thoughts through this visual language and release stress. It’s simple to do, because it is representational, based on an icon or a basic shape.
The types of shapes or images you may draw can often represent your subconscious thoughts or feelings.
Video Doodling for Stress Relief: https://youtu.be/K0QnOAxESi0
6 ways doodle art group workshops can benefit you and your workplace
One of the great things about doodle art is that everyone can give it a go. A good ground rule to keep in mind when doodle art in a group session is that everyone has an equal chance.
Don’t assume your work colleague who has an art background is the best doodler. Encourage everyone to doodle on a whiteboard and to include drawing when they take their own notes.
Doodle art is…
- Relaxing: Doodle art helps you to calm your thoughts down, while your brain is bombarded with information. Calm minds can focus better which, in turn, increases your productivity.
- An aid for brain retention: Doodle art can unlock your cognitive memory and help you retain information better. According to a study by the Journal of Applied Cognitive Psychology, doodlers are better equipped to recall pieces of information that are otherwise dull or hard to remember for everyone else. Doodlers are what psychologists call visual learners; they can relate to images better than text or spoken word.
- A creative energy channel: Art of any kind works as a therapy, no matter how bad ‘you’ think you are at it. Just 45 minutes of creative release is enough to relieve physical and mental stress, regardless of your skill level, reveals a study published in the Journal of the American Art Therapy Association.
- Good for building trust and teamwork: Doodle art as a group exercise enables colleagues to better understand the strengths of every team member. When each team member takes on the part that they are comfortable with or that comes naturally to them, as a group they can appreciate each other’s thoughts and strengths, without any judgement.
- A creativity booster: Many workplaces value creativity as a core skill which helps workers to solve problems, generate fresh ideas, and process information. Doodle art heightens creativity because it frees your mind of common, linear or linguistic-based thinking. Information and situations can be at looked at from different perspectives – all aided by doodle art!
- A source of ideas: Our brains are hardwired to produce ideas, but we often put up barriers in our minds to stop these ideas going further. Doodle art helps to break down these mental blocks.
9 tips for giving doodle art a chance to relax you
Drawing for fun and just letting your pen doodle freely can really help to relieve stress – just at the times when you really need to stay calm and focused in your working day.
Here are a few examples of when you could try doodling for a short time, to help clear your mind of worries and improve your ability to keep your mind focused, just when you need it to be.
- Before a meeting or an interview
- When you have had a long day at work and are drained out
- Have been running around for daily chores and need to relax
- Add some doodle infographics to improve your presentation
- Just before bedtime, to help you unwind
- Just before a speaking engagement
- Just before asking your boss for a pay rise
- On your train journey to meet a new client or work colleague
- Before going to a networking event.
How to create an art piece from your doodles
Doodle art can help you to explore the artist within you – for little cost and you can fit it around the other commitments in your life so that it remains a pleasure, rather than a chore!
Here’s some hints to help you:
Don’t overthink the design
If you think too hard about doodle art, it’ll stop being relaxing and productive. Stick with basic shapes like a circle around an important word. Use the shapes to create and repeat patterns.
Create a code
Try adding icons which are relevant to the sector you work in. For example, you can draw piggy banks or British pound signs (£) if you’re employed in the financial sector. An energy company icon might be a light bulb and for customers or people, a stick figure is instantly recognisable!
The ideal doodle is half text, half picture. A simple way to do this is to put boxes around keywords that relate to the same idea and arrows between words and pictures to show links.
Doodle art workshops – ideal for your workplace or family parties
As a teacher of doodle art workshops, my sessions will guide you to make it easy to put your thoughts onto paper and be more mindful.
I’ll help you to experience how the act of drawing itself can help your brain to relax, let go of any worrying thoughts or feelings and completely unwind.
I can deliver one-to-one sessions or workshops for family groups too.
What my customers say
“I thoroughly enjoyed learning the basics about doodle art from Ashima. Even though our course was at the end of a hectic workday, doodling with her was immensely relaxing and recharging. I did not realise how quickly an hour passed while I chatted with colleagues who we don’t get to interact with, even though we work in the same environment.
“Great Team building activity. Ashima also gave us a description about the different comforting strokes that we tend to default to while doodling and the psychology behind each stroke. We beautifully used them to create a Mandala with another colleague and filled in colours to represent the elements. I would love to continue doodling. Thanks, Ashima!”
“I was so glad that I took Ashima’s doodle art classes. I knew I would enjoy being creative, but had no idea I would leave feeling calm, relaxed and having the ability to focus for such a long period. It is such a unique way of artistic expression.” – an educator.