Dr. Srini Pillay, Best-Selling Author, Delves Into the "Thinking" Benefits of Doodling

Wednesday, March 7, 2018 General News
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Dr. Srini Pillay - Harvard Medical School Professor, Author, Psychiatrist, and Brain Researcher - suggests doodling is a healthy habit that can strengthen memory, relive stress, and improve focus.

LOS ANGELES, March 7, 2018 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Dr. Srini Pillay– Harvard Medical

School Professor, Author, Psychiatrist, and Brain Researcher - suggests doodling is a healthy habit that can strengthen memory, relive stress, and improve focus.

In a recent posting on Harvard Health publishing, Dr. Pillay breaks that negative stigma behind the act of doodling by stating, "Even American presidents have found themselves sketching away on a daily basis: 26 of 44 American Presidents doodled, from Theodore Roosevelt, who doodled animals and children, to Ronald Reagan, who doodled cowboys and football players, and John F. Kennedy, who doodled dominoes."

"Traditionally, we have thought of doodling as a sign of distraction — an indication that your mind was not where it was supposed to be," says Pillay, "yet, recent research has shown that doodling is not an enemy of attention; it may in fact be a friend."

DOODLING AND MEMORY "In 2009, psychologist Jackie Andrade asked 40 people to monitor a 2-½ minute dull and rambling voice mail message. Half of the group doodled while they did this, and the other half did not. They were not aware that their memories would be tested after the call. Surprisingly, when both groups were asked to recall details from the call, those that doodled were better at paying attention to the message and recalling the details. They recalled 29% more information!"

"When you're bored, your fight-or-flight system will do all that it can to rally and stay alert. Doodling (a form of fidgeting) may be a last-ditch attempt at staying awake and attentive. Doodling keeps you from falling asleep, or simply staring blankly when your brain has already turned off. The permission to "free-draw" keeps your brain online just a little while longer."

Dr. Pillay continues, "In addition, paying continuous attention places a strain on the brain, and doodling may be just the break your brain needs to keep attending without losing total interest."

DOODLING FOR STRESS RELIEF AND IMPROVED FOCUS "Spontaneous drawings may also relieve psychological distress, making it easier to attend to things. We like to make sense of our lives by making up coherent stories, but sometimes there are gaps that cannot be filled, no matter how hard we try. Doodles fill these gaps, possibly by activating the brain's "time travel machine," allowing it to find lost puzzle pieces of memories, bringing them to the present, and making the picture of our lives more whole again. With this greater sense of self and meaning, we may be able to feel more relaxed and concentrate more."

DOODLING FOR IMPROVED FOCUS "It seems then that if you're struggling to concentrate, find yourself stuck or feeling "incomplete," a time-limited doodle expedition could be just the thing you are looking for. It will likely activate your brain's "unfocus" circuits, give your "focus" circuits a break, and allow you to more creatively and tirelessly solve a problem at hand," states Dr. Pillay.

More information on Dr. Srini Pillay can be found here: https://drsrinipillay.com/meet-srini/.


SOURCE Dr. Srini Pillay

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