We’ve all experienced the disapproval of a teacher when they catch us doodling in class. From kindergarten through college, we’ve been told to pay attention, take notes and keep our notebook margins clear of distracting doodles.
But did you know doodling during class actually has its benefits?
Recent research shows that doodling might not be a bad thing, so don’t tuck your favorite art pen in the bottom of your book bag just yet. Rather than being a distraction, drawing during your classes may be the secret weapon you need to take your academic performance to the next level.
Here’s how doodling helps you learn:
1. Helps Your Remember Information and Details Better
There’s a common misconception that doodlers aren’t paying attention to what’s going on while they’re scribbling swirls and lines in their notebooks. However, studies actually support the idea that doodling increases your attention and helps you remember information more clearly.
A psychologist studying the impact of doodling conducted a study that separated participants into two groups while listening to a “dull” voicemail. One group doodled while listening to this dry message, while the other did not doodle and only listened.
2. Provides Relief From Academic-Related Anxiety
School-related anxiety isn’t unheard of. When you’re in college, it’s especially easy to let the stress pile up as you try to maintain a good GPA, complete numerous projects, study for exams and write research papers.
In a high-pressure environment, stress is common. Fortunately, doodling may just save the day. Science backs the fact that drawing can help the mind remain in the present — preventing rumination or worrying over the future.
Whether you’re shading in a face or you find yourself connecting a series of dots on the corner of a page, doodling can shift your focus away from your worries and into the present moment. In effect, this can lead to better academic performance, too.
3. Sparks Your Creativity
Every college course requires some degree of creative thinking. While the role of creative thinking may be more obvious in classes about the arts, such as theatre or writing, promoting a sense of creativity can help you excel in all of your courses.
If you find yourself stuck while trying to solve an equation or can’t think of a way to approach your next essay, for example, a few doodles may just do the trick.
Your analytical brain may be in overload when you’re taking a test or in a high-stress class. Drawing activates the right side of your brain, putting you more in tune with your creativity — which may just help you in the process of problem-solving.
Pens up and Doodle Away!
Now that you know doodling is great for your memory, mental health and creativity, you can break out your colored pens and keep the corner space of your assignments free. When you doodle a little here and there, you can encourage your creative side — and emerge a better student.