No doubt you have faced problems, challenges, having to plan, understand complex functions and so on before. Traditionally we are told to sit down and write out our thoughts or the findings of our research in a linear way. It can look rather organised, however it only using your brain partially creating a limited vision to possible solutions and ideas.
To get those juices really going it is much better to create a mind map. It is a great visual tool that helps to better analyse what may be needed and comprehend the situation. Why? If used correctly a mind map is structured in a way that you get your whole brain working, as it involves, colors, shapes, words, drawn objects and the likes, which is both analytical and artistic. So you are actually engaging both sides of your brain. Not to mention, it is great fun once you allow yourself to go with the flow!
The best thing is you can use them for almost anything from personal to business uses. To plan for one day or for a life time. You can even use it for the times when you feeling down, all doom and gloom. Yes! You can help how you feel with the use of a mind map!
So how does that work? Typically a min map works on topics that are inter-related as such it can help you drill down to the core of an issue.
To create a mind map is easy. All you need is a blank page. – I think the bigger the better! Don’t let the size be a show stopper tho! – Start with the central topic in the middle, and put the subtopics around this central topic. Connect them as they may be related.
Mind mapping for happiness can done be several ways. I have two that pop in my head just right now. One is the proactive way, when we want to plan to bring happiness in our life. So in this instance I write ‘Happiness’ in the middle of the page and surround it with words, phrases and drawings of things that add to my happiness. Whether it’d be holidays, the sunshine, rainbow, gratefulness. They all go on the page. I can then use these ideas to keep me in check on the happiness dial.
The other way that came to me is for when I feel all doom and gloom. Let’s face it, we all get those days! In this case I can discover – Why do I feel like it? What can I do about it? What is lacking? What brings me down? Fear, failure? What else is contributing to this feeling? And so on. You may actually find that mapping these feelings out can take quite some time!
When you are going through this process let yourself really feel the feelings. Don’t judge yourself or the feeling. They are what they are. Then discover where they are coming from. Are they even your feelings or something you picked up from an outsider?
In creating either of these mind maps make sure you
- Use colors, drawings and symbols – this helps to engage your brain to a greater capacity. No need to be an artist! Your brain gets excited by these.
- Keep the topic labels as short as possible – it creates a more effective map. Pictures are even better, you know that pictures worth a thousand words.
- Vary text size and alignment – this helps emphasize importance and again creates better engagement with your brain.
- Use curved lines to connect items – straight lines are just damn right boring for your brain! The connectors have a great purposes, as the brain uses these to link ideas together.
Mind mapping is extremely powerful in unlocking your full potential. At first this process may seem un-natural due to our training in linear thinking processes. I urge you to persist, as as the benefits of mind maps is enormous.