doodle

Daily Wisdom: DOODLE MORE

Making art can help athletes conquer creative blocks.

Every athlete knows that education is a crucial part of performance. Sport and exercise research, insight from top trainers, science, and technology help you to better understand your body so you can craft a healthier lifestyle, workouts, and recovery plan.

In our daily news series, experts address some of the latest fitness research, nutrition, and health stories.

TODAY'S TOPIC: EVEN AMATEUR ART CAN INCREASE YOUR HAPPINESS

THE SCIENCE

A new study conducted at Drexel University says that the brain’s reward pathways are activated when doodling and coloring. Researchers found that during these activities, there was a measured increase in blood flow in the brain’s prefrontal cortex, which is related to emotional and motivational systems. It's this meditative effect of coloring that Furthermore reported on back in 2015. But this study, which looked at doodling as well as coloring, also concluded that tapping in to your artistic side may help with the flow of good ideas and problem solving.

EXPERT INSIGHT

“The act of creating art can build self-esteem and create enjoyment, pleasure, and a sense of reward,” explains Linda Turner, a New York-based art psychotherapist. “It can be used to alleviate stress, to lessen anxiety, and uplift mood." It may also be worth doodling on a note pad the next tie you're stuck on a work problem or having trouble drumming up an innovative idea. As this study brings to light, doing so could help you push back any creative blocks.


THE BOTTOM LINE

Try adding doodling, coloring, or some sort of art-making into your routine. “Experiment, have fun, paint, or play with clay… see what materials feel best to you," says Turner. Free drawing or even these adult coloring books will not only evoke positive emotions but also give you a sense of reward and may help you come up with your next great idea.