Tip #40: Doodle.
The why: Sometimes I’ll be sitting in a lecture, having lunch with a friend or just generally enjoying life when suddenly:
“Oh no. I don’t seem to be able to breathe.”
My mind will attempt to run faster than the speed of light, working super hard to assess all the possible (and even impossible) dangers it can, and I suddenly feel really rather odd.
(I always ask myself why it doesn’t work that hard when I’m actually attempting to work, but that’s beside the point.)
See, anxiety, unfortunately, doesn’t come with its own theme music. No narrator to forewarn the poor protagonist of the oncoming storm.
(I say unfortunately, but really most likely a blessing in disguise. Can you imagine if you’re going about your daily life and suddenly hear the music from Jaws? The terror!)
I have developed many weapons in my anti-anxiety arsenal for when this happens, but one of the most effective, and creative, I have found is to doodle.
Doodle on a napkin, doodle on the walls (okay maybe not this one), doodle on the person
sitting next to you (okay these are not good examples), doodle in a special book you carry around.
Heck, even doodle on yourself!
Drawing random and pretty pictures gives the mind a focus, and grounds you in one particular and fun task.
Doodling is also one of those things you can do literally anywhere, at any time. It also doesn’t seem so rude or intrusive if you’re feeling anxious whilst with friends or family.
Doodling for a few minutes whenever you begin to feel the creeping sense of doom can set the mind at rest. Almost like a mini-mindfulness practice.
If you’re carrying a tiny pocket book specifically to doodle in, by the end of a few weeks you could have a lovely little collection of drawings (or in my case, a lovely little collection of stick-men).