study techniques

Mind Maps and Art Therapy

1206565055109646538keikannui_neuron-interneuron_2.svg.hiSorting out a lot of information? Trying to make a plan but have many options? Mind Maps are a great tool to visually observe all of your options for any given situation. We tend to live in a very linear world due to the limits of verbal communication allowing us to only say one word after another.  As students, most people tend to take notes following this model of linear thinking and transmitting information. Mind maps offer another option and one that allows for a more visually stimulating opportunity to process information.

Please think of a goal, a plan for the near future, or a problem. Find some paper and a writing utensil. If you are feeling extra creative use several different colors of marker or colored pencils. Write or draw your current situation in the middle of the page. Think of several different options for the choices relating to this and begin to draw or write words around the initial image on the page. This mind map might resemble a neuron, a star fish, an amoeba or a sun with rays. Think of the pros and cons of each path, and include this in your information. Think of what each choice will lead to if you continue on one of the paths as a solution to the original predicament.  Maybe assign a color to the different options you are presenting on this mind map. The result should be a visually stimulating array of options and more in line with how our brain really works. Hopefully this technique can help you sort out all of your options to figure out the best path to take to reach the end goal.

It is very easy to not make a plan in many situations, because change and growth often requires tremendous amount of work. Not making a choice though is actually making a choice that you are settling for the status quo. Change can be painful, disruptive, challenging but is always rewarding in the end.