How Mind Maps Unleash The Creative Side Of Your Brain
This article focuses on creativity and the different ways in which people learn. You will also learn about the many ways that mind maps can help you to solve problems, learn more, and overcome some of things that are blocking you from achieving your goals. In other words, this information will help you learn how to use mind maps in the most optimal manner.
Mind Maps And Creativity
Mind maps encourage your creativity. This is because, among other things, they help you to avoid linear thinking. Linear thinking is a very limited way of thinking. If you were to take a trip, for example, you may run into situations where you have to think creatively… figure out the right direction to go, what to eat, and where to stay at. On the other hand, if you were to take a drive on a route that you have covered hundreds of times before, there is really no thought process involved. You pretty much do it automatically. This is like linear thinking. Linear thinking is not deep or creative; it is just thinking at your most basic level.
Mind mapping forces you to think in deeper, more diverse, and more creative ways. In other words, mind mapping forces you to open up and look at things in an entirely new manner and open yourself up to new ideas. Even more importantly, it pushes you into coming up with new ideas on your own.
When you are mind mapping, you are able to move around all of your topics and subtopics. As you move the information you will find that a little tiny opening for creativity presents itself. As you continue working, this opening for creativity continues to expand. So, eventually you are putting information into the mind map and extracting out ideas.
One thing that is interesting is that mind mapping allows you to be creative, yet very realistic. When you are first beginning to brainstorm your ideas, it is likely that your mind map will get pretty messy. Naturally, the ideas that we have are not very orderly. For one thing, it is very difficult for humans to group things in their mind ahead of time. Aside from that, the thoughts that we jot down are often incomplete and unstructured. You have to spend time with the material in order for it to become organized.
Having to go to through the process of organizing the material is actually a good thing. Think of a writer who is writing a story. If she were to jot down ideas for a story on a piece of paper, and then just start writing the story, the details of that story would be more logical and more attuned than when she first wrote them down. However, if she were to write them into a mind map, she may have to go back and reorganize the information to make more sense of it, but this extra step would make her material more detailed and more logical when she finally did write out her story. So, the creative ideas would still be there, but now the information would be set up in a more realistic and detailed manner.
As stated above, mind maps have a way of forcing you to be more creative. This is because the mind map itself is a creative tool. By nature mind maps have a way of hooking into the right side of the brain. In fact, you will probably find yourself tapping into a creative side that you didn’t even know that you had. A lot of the mind mapping process is dependent on your own intuition. So, as you are reorganizing the information, brand new ideas naturally manifest.
In many cases you will find that subtopics will suddenly become brand new when you move them from one topic to the next. It is kind of like when you look at something from a different angle, all of the sudden looks totally different. Things tend to seem differently when you collect or gather them together with other chunks of information, just like something suddenly seems small when you place it beside something bigger.
When you move these subtopics around, they have to be reconsidered, which again causes you to become more creative in your thinking. While you are going through this process, you are tapping into your intuition. You then try and figure out what is the right combination according to the gut feeling you have about what is correct or incorrect.
Different Types of Learning
Everyone has a different type of learning style. For the most part, there are watchers, readers, and listeners. Watchers really enjoy videos. That is probably the most optimum way for them to learn. They also learn well from visual elements, such as pictures, images, and more interesting forms of text. Readers take in information best when it is written out. Finally, there are listeners, which take in information best in auditory form.
Mind maps work best for watchers and readers. This, of course, makes sense because the information is presented in a visual manner which includes text. You can learn how to create an advanced mind map. However, it is not like mind maps are not advantageous to listeners as well. Listeners can get a lot out of information out of a mind map, especially when they can look at a mind map as the information within is being explained. They can also benefit from writing the information into a mind map as they are listening to it. So, all three different types of learners can benefit from using mind maps and mind mapping. Here is a post explaining how to create a simple mind map for beginners.
Mind Maps Help You Solve Problems
It has already been established that mind maps are useful tools when it comes to solving problems. One of the reasons for this is because they allow you to lay all of the elements of that problem out at once. So, you can see all of the separate issues of that problem at once. This gives you a means of visualizing the problem.
Mind maps also allow you to work through a problem. By chipping away at the different parts of the problem you are able to pin point the problems source and therefore what can be done about it. Mind mapping can also help you to come up with creative solutions for a problem that you are having and help you to walk through each of your solutions as well.
Very often, when people are trying to solve a problem, their brain races ahead of the answer that they feel like they might have or that they do have but can’t grasp. The just can’t express or elaborate on the answer because they can’t get it out fast enough. It is kind of like having something on the tip of your tongue, but you just don’t know how to say it. What a mind map allows you to do is write down your thoughts and put them into a recognizable form. With all of this information laid out in front of you in a visual way, you are able to find or come up with the solution more rapidly.
Another benefit that you have is that mind mapping allows you to better understand the questions that you are trying to ask. In other words, you are able to ask yourself better questions about what you are trying to solve. When you are asking better questions, than you are able to better contemplate what the solution to a problem could be.
This can be extremely important, especially when you are trying to contemplate a multifaceted or more complex type of problem. These types of problems have to be looked at from different angles and it takes time to come up with a solution. A mind map allows you to break apart the various rudiments of a problem, and examine all of the angles of that problem, in a faster and clearer way than by most other means.
The process of building the mind map alone often allows you to come up with the solution to a problem. If this doesn’t work, having everything written out will help you to examine the problem from different angles. Once you are able to examine all the different facets to a problem, the solution usually presents itself.
Mind Maps are Visually Powerful
The brain is a wonderful machine, and it can used in a predictable fashion. Mind maps “talk” to your brain in an understandable way. What that means is because the content includes both visual elements and written text, you are blending at least two types of information together. The brain responds well to new and unique forms of information. Since mind maps utilize a mixture of different images, text, colors, and basic shapes the brain becomes more receptive. The fact that the information is clearly represented through relationships and is well organized also helps it to become more received. Therefore, in combination, these elements are all very powerful. You can read about the visual memory here
Mind Maps Improve Learning & Memory
We learn by making connections and associations between things. Mind maps allow us to very quickly and easily associate content, and then we are able to re-associate and manipulate that content to make new things. This is almost like playing with Legos because you can tear them apart and put them back together to form something new. As humans, it is in our nature to learn in this type of manner. This is why children have always loved to play with and manipulate toys like blocks.
This type of problem solving is at the root of what we are. It is the core of how we, as humans, learn to tackle the challenges of our world. From birth we are naturally drawn to this type of play, and throughout our lifetimes such ‘play’ improves our memory and our ability to reason things out. Mind maps allow you to ‘play’ in this sort of way.
Overcoming Procrastination & Blocks
Did you know that it has been proven that adults have the ability to learn as quickly as children do? The only reason why adults don’t take in information ‘like a sponge’ in the same way children do is because as we grow up we block ourselves from playing in the same manner, and we fail to make strong associations. We tell ourselves “I am too old for that’” or “I don’t have enough time for such nonsense; I have better things to do”. Playing is what allows our cognitive minds to grow, and it is only our own attitude which blocks us from continuing to grow.
Mind maps are a ‘free form’ type of tool. You are allowed, and even encouraged, to put information into the mind map in different ways. This form even allows you to brainstorm ‘on the fly’ if you would like to do it that way. There are no limits, really. Everything that you want to do is allowed. Think of it as though you are an artist. You have the freedom to take different concepts and arrange them in any way that you wish. Just like an artist, all you essentially are doing is adding content, and then revisiting that content to make sure that it is arranged into what you want the final product to be. Even then you are simply adding more content until you get it right.
As you add content you allow your mind map to grow. This is not unlike how a tree would grow. In fact, some people prefer to look at mind maps in this way. They see the central point as the trunk, the main topics are the larger branches, and the subtopics are the twigs and leaves. This is yet another example of how you can perceive mind mapping. In any event, you can add as much content to a mind map as you want, as quickly as you want, and in any way that you want. There is nothing to hold you back.
Furthermore, there is no set up involved in creating a mind map. You don’t have to preplan, organize, or prepare anything in order to use a mind map. All you have to do is get out a sheet of paper, or in some cases open up a computer program, and start building onto it. There is no requirement for going back and reorganizing the information either, although you may want to if you expect it to make sense to anyone else. You don’t have to though. That is the point; you have the freedom to create your mind map in any way that you wish.
Knowing that there is no pressure to create your mind map in a certain amount of time, and no pressure to create them in a certain way, allows you to overcome anything that might cause you to procrastinate. At the very least, you can create the mind map with no pressure involved. Once you begin creating the mind map, however, you will probably find that whatever project you were anxious about doing doesn’t seem as bad as you thought.
The part that holds many people up is getting started. However, once any process has begun, it is easy to carry on. Mind maps can open this door for you. They make people feel very liberated, and therefore are able to get started on a project very easily because they know that there are ‘no strings attached’.
Mind maps are also great for people with attention disorders, such as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD). This is because mind maps allow you to write down your ideas as quickly as you like. There is no pressure to organize your ideas right away, if at all, and there is no pressure to stick with it. You can revisit a mind map as many times as you like. Since mind maps allow for so much freedom and creativity, they are easy to stick with, even for people who have shorter attention spans. It is also helpful that you can add as many visual elements to a mind map as you like. In some mind mapping programs, you can even link out to videos and other forms of multimedia if you want to.
There are no limits to what you can do with mind maps. You can add as much content as you want to, as long as it doesn’t distract you or others from the mind map’s objective. The more fun that you have with your mind maps, the more engaged you will be, and the more you are going to be able to learn or figure out.