As I shared just the other night in my free class, “How to Stop Yelling at the People You Love,” (p.s. you can catch the entire replay HERE), mind-mapping is one of the go-to tools I suggest to clients to deal with stress and anxiety.
Because mind-mapping is essentially a mini-therapy session – it allows you to get everything you’re thinking and feeling out on paper in a quick and semi-organized pattern.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
You may be wondering: what even IS mind-mapping?
Mind-mapping is super simple, actually. You begin by writing a feeling or thought in the middle of a piece of paper and drawing a circle or bubble around it. From there, you let yourself go in a stream of consciousness, using branches and more bubbles to get every other thought or feeling that might be connected to it onto the page as well. Here’s an example of what that might look like for someone who is struggling with anxiety:
As you can see, this person began by simply writing “anxiety” in the middle of the page and branched off with other things that immediately came to mind associated with that feeling.
There’s absolutely no right or wrong way to do a mind map, and to be honest, lately I’ve been loving them so much that I’ve been using them myself almost every single day!
Just this morning, I realized I had a lot of thoughts swirling around in the form of a to-do list, and it was a big ol’ jumble in my head. So I simply wrote: July 8, 2020 in the middle bubble and then put 5 minutes on the timer to write down all the things I have going on today and things I wanted to remember as they popped into my mind. In less than 5 minutes, I was able to intuitively formulate a plan for the day that truly aligned with what’s most important today – everything from what we’re having for dinner (SUPER important, obviously!) to writing this here blog post!
Another way you can utilize mind mapping for stress and anxiety is to simply write what you’re feeling or even just “my favorite coping skills” in the center bubble. Then, in the same was as before, don’t censor yourself and write each and every coping skill or healthy thing you like to do that comes to mind. If you need help getting started, you might want to check out this post.
So what do you think, my friend? Are you going to give mind-mapping a shot? If you do, I’d love to hear all about it! Do you have any other ideas for how to use mind-mapping to reduce stress and anxiety?