In his book Modern Mind Mapping for Smarter Thinking, Tony Buzan states that mindfulness is “the art of paying attention to the details of the present moment, without judgement.” This concept is now popular among yogis, therapists and entrepreneurs alike. Mindfulness reduces stress, boosts our memory and allows us to focus, sparking new ideas in our subconscious. It refreshes and relaxes us, allowing us to go with the flow and accept life as it happens.
You may be wondering how Mind Maps fit in here, but really they go hand in hand. Read on to find out three ways in which Mind Mapping, mindfulness and idea generation are linked…
Do you ever find yourself taking notes on autopilot, not really paying any attention to their meaning or layout? Well, that’s not possible when you’re creating a Mind Map. The very act of Mind Mapping forces you to be mindful and aware of how you will organise your thoughts onto the page. You have to consider what keywords will convey your meaning accurately. You can slow down, decide which coloured pen you want to use next to link themes and actively consider which images you wish to draw onto your branches to represent your ideas. All of these things mean you are more mindful of your ideas, more poised to spot hidden meanings and more aware of your thought processes.
Mind Maps are ideal for idea generation due to their almost meditative quality. Tony Buzan claims that, “It is in our quiet moments that our minds settle and we find we can meditate or relax. This in turn creates a mental ‘cushion’ from which our imagination and thought associations can flow and traverse to eureka moments.” You’ve probably experienced this while taking a shower or driving to work. By allowing your mind to wander, you are letting your subconscious get to work, and that’s when your best ideas come to you. The deliberate nature of Mind Maps means that you are highly sensitive to even the subtlest hint of an idea, which you can record straight away. While peacefully absorbed in the creation of your Mind Map, you may end up pleasantly surprising yourself as branches lead to more branches and a doodle representing one idea inspires a totally different one.
The unrestricted nature of Mind Maps means that you can let your mind wander freely, drifting from one idea to the next, mimicking the natural thought patterns of your brain. You may find that, once you have started your Mind Map, you begin to see links between apparently unrelated ideas. This is because, through the creation process, you are already very aware of the organisation and thoughts behind your Mind Map. Mind Maps are very visual. By carefully studying the various branches and patterns we’ve drawn, we can see links that may have remained hidden in standard linear notes. This careful analysis of patterns and links can trigger a fresh flow of ideas from our subconscious.
Do you find that Mind Maps make you more mindful? How else do you practice mindfulness? Share your thoughts in the comments below!← 5 times iMindMap will be your note-taking hero 3 steps to end your week productively with iMindMap →