Do you ever feel like all the words, worries, thoughts, and ideas are swirling around in your head and you can’t make sense of any of them? Do you ever feel overwhelmed by everything you need to get done? Does making a big decision cause you to want to hide from the world?
I’m pretty sure this is something we all face from time to time. Our brains long to make sense of the world around us, but sometimes it just feels like it’s all uncontrollable chaos.
I’ve discovered a tool that can actually help you figure things out a lot easier. Welcome to mind-mapping.
In a nutshell, mind-mapping is a way to easily organize your thoughts, ideas, and facts. It’s visual and creative, and it helps you to see relationships easily. You can use words or images, or even a combination of both.
What IS a mind map, anyway?
You start with a central concept in the center of the page, and you work outward. Use anything you want! Symbols, colors, images, words, etc. It isn’t about perfection or “following the rules”; it’s about making the connections and forming the relationships that YOUR brain uses.
Be creative! Create your own style!
How did mind-mapping come about?
The concept dates back centuries! Somewhere in the middle of the 3rd century, a guy named Porphyry of Tyros graphically organized the concept categories of Aristotle.
The term “mind map” was first used in 1974 by British author Tony Buzan.
Why is mind-mapping effective?
It helps you to remember things better. You’re six times more likely to remember information that’s presented with words and pictures rather than words alone. Also, your memory and learning capacity are improved by 10-15% when you use mind maps as opposed to conventional note-taking and studying techniques.
It mimics the way your brain thinks. Your brain naturally bounces ideas off each other; it doesn’t generally think linearly. With mind-mapping, you’re able to connect concepts through natural associations; this means you can come up with more ideas that have deeper meanings.
It utilizes your imagination and sparks creativity. Your imagination is very closely connected to your capacity to think effectively and quickly. Also, your ability to create associations between chunks of information aids your thinking skills. Writing with your hand, using colors, and creating images uses your creativity, and creativity brings fresh ideas.
It helps you cope with mental clutter. You’re not just looking at the overwhelming details; you’re also able to see the big picture. This lessens information overload, helps with problems-solving, clarifies goals, points to plans of action, and identifies thinking patterns.
What are some practical ways you can use mind-mapping?
Sorting your thoughts
At the end of a bad day, doing a brain dump can work wonders for your mind! Get all your thoughts out on paper, see what’s really happening, and sort it all out. For some reason, when it’s not just in your head anymore, it seems a lot smaller and more manageable. This is a good way to prevent overwhelm.
Related Post: 10 Practical Ways to Deal with Stress and Overwhelm
Of course, the traditional pro/con list is always a good technique, but mind-mapping can provide a whole new way to look at a situation. You’re able to see many possible outcomes rather than just a “yes” or “no,” and ideas lead to other ideas, which means you’ll probably discover possibilities you didn’t consider before.
If you’re a student, this is a great way to study for tests! You can easily see the connections among all the facts you need to know, and you’ll retain the information better if you can see it graphically. It’s an effective way to organize bodies of information.
Additionally, if you’re learning a new skill or language, mind-mapping is a useful tool. This isn’t just for students!
Planning creative content
If you regularly present content to others, whether it’s through blogging, video creation, public speaking, or another method of delivery, mind-mapping is a way you can plan your content. Rather than outlining your information in the traditional form or writing long paragraphs, try creating a mind map of your ideas.
Mind-mapping can be a fun way to journal. It’s quick, colorful, and creative. And, as we’ve already talked about, it is a good way to process and organize your thoughts.
Related Post: 3 Reasons to Journal Every Day
Have you ever used mind-mapping? Do you have any other tips or suggestions?