Did you know Green Sketching might change the way your brain works, helping you become more resilient to life's inevitable challenges?
When you start sketching outdoors, you begin to notice more: more wildlife, more colours, more patterns in the landscape. And the more you look, the more you spot things that surprise, intrigue and delight you.
It's probably why my son laughs at me every time I say, "Look! There's a buzzard." I often notice things others miss.
Fleeting moments of joy, awe and curiosity happen to all of us on a daily basis, but we rarely dwell on them.
Thanks to our brain's innate negativity bias, our attention tends to drift towards what is wrong with our lives, relationships and surroundings.
It's all too easy to let those brief positive experiences slip by unappreciated.
In his fascinating book Resilient, Rick Hanson calls these everyday moments, 'little jewels: the small ordinary beneficial experiences of life.' He argues that far from dismissing them as lightweight and trivial, we should actively seek them out and highlight these experiences.
Boggy Doodling is a great way to do this. It diverts our mind's attention away from our problems towards what we find interesting and beautiful. And, unlike taking a photo — a quick and passive action — sketching requires focus and concentration which helps to embed the positive experience of being outdoors surrounded by beauty, within our mind.
According to Hanson, it is this process of intensifying and internalising everyday positive experiences that helps balance our negativity bias, boosting our resilience. The more often we can Boggy Doodle, the more 'jewels' we will notice and appreciate.
You don't need to understand or believe in the neuroscience to benefit. Just get outdoors, start Boggy Doodling and see how you feel.