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Seven cognitive benefits of doodling and colouring in you never knew about


What comes to mind when you think of doodling and colouring in? Maybe it’s your first kindergarten art project or those hours during maths class when you spent more time scribbling intricate patterns in your exercise book than computing algebraic equations. Nowadays, colouring in isn’t just for children. The sheer numbers of colouring in books for adults available on Amazon demonstrate this. Adults are taking up these activities reminiscent of childhood for fun and their cognitive benefits – great news for stationery suppliers. Here are seven of those cognitive benefits:

1.They enhance creativity

In our responsibility-driven adult lives there is little room for creative pursuits.  While our work often requires us to be creative, making time for artistic endeavours like colouring in or doodling will help us not only get back in touch with that child-like creative side of ourselves, but will bring a fresh perspective to our work too.

2.They encourage mindfulness

Mindfulness means living in the moment and focusing our attention on what we’re doing, rather than being carried away by our thoughts. Colouring in and doodling are great ways of encouraging mindfulness – which itself comes with physical and cognitive benefits such as improved mood, lower stress levels, more restful sleep and better working memory.

3.They hone attention to detail

Both colouring in and doodling require focus and attention to detail: the fact that it’s almost impossible to do anything else while you’re immersed in them proves this. With multi-tasking practically the norm in modern life, attention to detail is often the first thing to go as we rush through our to-do lists. Cognitive benefits such as improved focus and attention to detail highlight just how powerful simple activities like these can be.

4.They aid relaxation

Doodling and colouring in takes us back to childhood – a time when we were less stressed. Our unceasing internal monologue can be draining. Being able to let it subside by occupying our brains with an untaxing activity – that doesn’t involve a screen – is a brilliant way to detach. After all, a relaxed mind will make better decisions than a busy one.

5.It encourages problem solving

Doodling helps problem solving and is actually “deep thinking in disguise”, according to Ted speaker Sunni Brown. While the conscious mind is preoccupied, deeper levels of our minds can get to work solving the problems our overworked conscious minds couldn’t.

6.It increases memory retention

A study conducted in 2009 entitled “What does doodling do?” (cited in this Psychology Today article) found that doodlers are better at recalling information than their non-doodling counterparts. This is posited to be because doodlers are less inclined to let their minds wander and are more “in the moment” – so they pay attention to information presented to them better than non-doodlers.

7.It improves performance at work

A study in the Journal of Occupational and Organisational Psychology involved tests on people who had “limited personal time to engage in activities that enable them to recover from a demanding work environment”. Sound familiar? The results indicated that once non-work related creative activity was introduced to the group, not only were they better able to relax, but their performance at work improved too.

Colouring in and doodling offer a fantastic chance to get reacquainted with paper and pen, something stationery suppliers like OfficeBox support with great enthusiasm. An innovative stationery supplier, get in touch with OfficeBox to talk to us about how we ensure that your business is supplied with everything it needs to stay creative.


OfficeBox Branded Stationery
David Adams
29 September 2015