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Mindful Doodling to Reduce Stress - Art Therapy Exercise

Materials needed:

  1. Paper

  2. Pens, pencils, markers, or crayons in various colors

Mindful Doodling to Reduce Stress - Art Therapy Exercise


  1. Find a quiet and comfortable space where you can relax and focus without distractions.

  2. Take a few deep breaths to center yourself and bring your attention to the present moment.

  3. Begin by lightly sketching a simple shape or pattern on your paper. This could be a circle, a squiggle, a zigzag, or any other basic form that comes to mind.

  4. Without overthinking it, start to embellish and expand upon the initial shape or pattern using your pens, pencils, markers, or crayons. Allow your lines to flow freely and intuitively, without worrying about making mistakes or creating a specific outcome.

  5. As you doodle, pay close attention to the sensations of the pen or pencil moving across the paper, the texture of the lines, and the colors you're using. Stay present with each stroke and embrace any imperfections or unexpected twists and turns.

  6. If your mind starts to wander or you notice yourself getting caught up in thoughts, gently bring your focus back to the doodling process. Use your breath as an anchor to keep you grounded in the present moment.

  7. Continue doodling for as long as you like, allowing the process to unfold naturally. You can experiment with different shapes, patterns, and colors, layering them on top of each other to create depth and complexity.

  8. As you near the end of your doodling session, take a moment to observe the finished piece. Notice how it makes you feel and any thoughts or emotions that arise as you look at it.

  9. Reflect on your experience with mindful doodling. How did it feel to engage in this creative activity? Did you notice any changes in your mood or stress levels throughout the process?

Mindful doodling is a simple yet powerful art therapy exercise that can help reduce stress, increase mindfulness, and promote relaxation. By allowing yourself to be fully present with the act of doodling, you can cultivate a sense of calm and inner peace amidst the busyness of daily life.


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