Do you ever get ideas. Like, LOTS of ideas. So many that it makes it hard to turn them off. It’s hard to live mindfully and be present when your mind is racing. So sometimes you just have to get them out. That’s where something called Mind Mapping can help.
Unlike simply journaling (which is great too), this is more of a visual way of getting your thoughts laid out. The central idea is in the center and the follow up ideas or supporting thoughts radiate outward. For instance:
So in my above example all five of the elements needed for mind mapping are present.
You can simply use colored pens and draw out your ideas. You should use short phrases or words combined with pictures. Write down all of your ideas as they come to you. Your putting your thoughts into a picture form to make things easier to visualize (and get the ideas out of your mind, organized and onto paper). One of the advantages of pen and paper is that you can scratch through and edit with ease if you decide later that you don’t care for one of your subcategories.
If Pen and Paper aren’t for you then there are some websites dedicated just to mind mapping. Mindomo.com has a free and a paid version. If your looking for a completely free version then look at Mind42.com. There are lots of shared versions on their website for inspiration as well. WiseMapping.com has applications for both individuals or for businesses and educators so it’s another website worth checking out.
So when you find that you just have a thousand thoughts running through your mind and you cant seem to focus, this is a quick way to organize and get all of those ideas out. For writers it can be a great tool, but it works in all sorts of areas. The next time that you find that something is spinning around and around in your mind, set a timer and mind map for 10 minutes. Then check in to see how you feel without all those thoughts spinning around unorganized with no place to go.
Know of any good mind mapping resources? Do you use mind mapping in your personal or professional life? Let us know how mind mapping has helped clear your head.