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How to Unleash Your Subconscious Mind by Drawing Doodles

I often explore enjoyable activities like this for practical purposes that provoke one's curiosity and share my experience with you.

The unconscious mind can communicate through doodles.

The unconscious mind can communicate through doodles.

How Can Doodling Help You?

Doodling can expose your subconscious mind and help you visualize what's hidden there. You may even get to understand yourself better.

I discovered it works without having to pay attention to the creative process.

When you create your doodles, you might discover things about your life or your attitude towards your goals.

The trick is to be open-minded about it once your subconscious begins to communicate with you through your doodles. Allow yourself to perceive anything you want to imagine from what you've drawn.

That could be very enlightening, and it can help explain circumstances in your life that have been confusing. You may even get more in touch with your feelings.

Your feelings and emotions are always portrayed in doodles when you let your subconscious mind communicate this way. You may also discover a way to let your inner child speak to you by visualizing what's hidden deep within your lost thoughts.

How It Works

Have you ever doodled while talking on the phone or when you had nothing else to do? Did you ever notice something about your feelings that you were not aware of when you examined your creation afterward?

Even if you think you can't draw a picture, you'd be amazed at your subconscious mind's ability to communicate visually.

  • If you feel like making circles, then do so.
  • If you feel like making squiggly lines all over, do it.
  • If you feel like messing it all up and going crazy, let it happen.

When you doodle, you are letting hidden feelings come to the surface in the form of art without censorship. Your subconscious mind will be free to speak to you in its own way if you let it. So whatever you feel like doing when doodling, go with it.

Experiment: Draw Without Thinking

Here's an interesting experiment you can try:

  1. Take a blank piece of paper. Any size will do. Sometimes I use index cards, but 9x12 sketchpads give more room for your artwork.
  2. Use a pen or a pencil. If you want to play with color, get a set of felt markers.
  3. Now, start anywhere on the paper, drawing a line, a circle, or some other pattern.
  4. Let your mind go free and let your hand move anywhere you feel that it wants to go.

The idea is to let your subconscious mind communicate without filtering or censoring.

An Example of a Revealing Doodle

I drew the doodle at the top of this article without conscious thought. It's an excellent example of what can come from your subconscious mind when you don't pay attention while you're doodling.

I didn't plan anything, but it turned out that there were an egg and a man's shadow. When I examined it afterward, I realized that the man might represent "me,” and the egg might represent the birth of my ultimate future.

That is very revealing, and it gave me something to think about.

Try Making Conscious Additions

It's okay to modify your doodle after your subconscious has completed its creativity. There are no rules as long as you don't censor yourself. You'll want to let those hidden feelings emerge. After that, you can go wild and do anything you want with your creations.

I made several doodles without removing the pencil from the paper, just for the fun of it. Then I would look at it consciously after I'm finished and add a few things, such as the eyes in my doodle below.

I added the eyes after subconsciously creating it.

I added the eyes after subconsciously creating it.

How to Play With Your Doodles

After you draw your doodle without censoring yourself, you are free to play with it consciously.

When you think you're done, look it over from every angle. Now it gets interesting. You're going to let your conscious mind get involved a little.

While you look at your doodle with the extra awareness of your conscious mind, meaningful ideas develop from your conscious thoughts. Feel free to continue drawing what your subconscious mind started.

Rotate your doodle and view it sideways and upside down. When you view it from a different angle, you might see more in it that you didn't notice, something you can develop further from what you started.

Feel free to consciously draw whatever additional artwork you feel like including to complete your drawing. That's okay. You're working on a conscious level now. The subconscious part of the work is done.

Example of Conscious Completion

Those circular strokes in the doodle below were my way of letting my mind go free with unconscious twirls of the pen. Later I consciously completed it by adding eyes and filling it in with a little color.

I completed this after letting my mind go free.

I completed this after letting my mind go free.

Styles of Doodles Change Over Time

You may discover fascinating changes that occur with your drawing style when you doodle over many years of your life. As you go through various stages of your life, different patterns emerge through your doodles.

For example, I discovered that my doodles had changed drastically over time. There was a time in my life when they all seemed to be faces. Then there was another period when all I ended up drawing were meaningless squiggles.

They seemed meaningless, but I knew my subconscious mind was trying to communicate something to me.

Looking back on my doodles years later, I realized I was going through a difficult time with a lot of confusion and uncertainty. That was portrayed in my doodles of that period—with many odd shapes and designs.

Meaningless Shapes Can Be Very Telling

Even when your doodle has meaningless shapes, there could be a sign of order and structure that means something crucial to your understanding of yourself.

As an example, I didn't realize it then, but when I analyzed the following doodle years later, I realized that I was trying to maintain sanity in my mind. I recall that I was trying to put puzzling pieces of my life together.

A doodle with a sign of order and structure.

A doodle with a sign of order and structure.

Save Your Doodles for Future Review

Your doodles are precious. Looking back at them later in life may bring some unknown thoughts to the surface that would have forever been lost. They provide a visual way to understand your past.

Maybe you’ve made doodles before and never knew what talent you had. What did you do? Did you throw away all that incredible art whenever you doodled while talking on the phone or while listening to a lecture in school?

An excellent way to save your artwork is to draw in a sketchbook. You’ll be more motivated to keep what you have created. And you’ll be pleased when you find it years later. That’s what I did. I saved what I made early in my life, and I’m glad I did.

When you look at your old doodles when you're older, you may see something about yourself that you'll understand with a different attitude. Doodles are revealing to look at later in life.

To Sum Up

Doodling is enjoyable and can be a great stress reliever. It lets your inner child speak to you. You should try it, especially if you want to unlock communication with your subconscious mind.

Amazon sells many art supplies, drawing pads, art journals, and all kinds of color pen sets. You can also check out your local art supply or crafts store. You might even be inclined to get a large canvas and create something big from your subconscious mind.

There are many ways to do it. As I mentioned earlier, you can use color if you wish or keep things simple with black and white using a pen or a pencil. Some of my doodles were just pen strokes, as I'm sure you've noticed.

Have fun with it and let your mind go free.

© 2009 Glenn Stok

Reader Comments

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on November 05, 2017:

Anusha Jain - It definitely initiates an alternative way to communicate with your subconscious mind. You may find hidden thoughts come out through your doodles.

Anusha Jain from Delhi, India on November 05, 2017:

I enjoyed this read a lot. The relationship between the conscious and the subconscious mind is as complex as the working of the conscious mind itself. The way they communicate, and all the lack of communication too, the way they overlap and all the staying away from each other is a tad too interesting. I am definitely going to try this, although, I am not sure whether will I be able to make sense of whatever I create. Maybe this will a full-fledged profession in future? Just like Understanding Meanings of Dreams. :)

Great post.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on November 19, 2016:

SakinaNasir53 - Here's an idea — you can upload your doodles to Zazzle and make money selling coffee mugs and other items with your doodles. People like flowers.

Sakina Nasir from Kuwait on November 19, 2016:

Lovely article! I have never doodled seriously before, but sometimes I just make flowers unconsciously on some book or paper to relax. I will surely try doodling with my unconscious mind and see what results I come up with! ☺

Susette Horspool from Pasadena CA on October 16, 2012:

Glenn - This reminds me of a book I worked with for awhile called "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron. She has the reader do the very things you mention above. I still have my doodles. It was pretty interesting.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on October 15, 2012:

Dan, give it a go and let me know what you get out of it. "Automatic Writing" -- Intriguing analogy.

Dan Barfield from Gloucestershire, England, UK on October 14, 2012:

Cool idea - this makes me think of automatic writing. I may have to have a go at this and see what happens :)

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on September 26, 2012:


I published it through Lulu so it's available via B&N and other online stores too, in addition to Amazon. I did the same with my relationship book. I do think that the type of doodles we make is a refection on something about us. Your circles and geometric shapes might mean that you are mathematically inclined. Your flowers may mean that you like nature. Thanks for the vote and all the other.

Cynthia Calhoun from Western NC on September 26, 2012:

Wait, did you PUBLISH that Amazon doodle book? ROCK ON!! You're awesome and I love your doodles!! My sharpie doodle hub has motivated me to try other things and see what I can do. I'm so glad I saw this. I wonder what in the world all the flowers, circles and geometric shapes I draw mean. LOL. Time will tell, I think. Voted up, shared, tweeted and pinned.