How Mind Map Journaling Stimulates My Creativity & Helps Me Stay Positive

I usually find myself either jotting down random thoughts on my iPhone or journaling digitally on my computer. And this is great- it allows me to organize the clutter in my mind onto paper and seek clarity. It is all I have ever known— paragraphs. Complete sentences. Followed by periods. Simply, writing the way we were taught to write. But what if there is more to it? What if there are ways to light up the thoughts in your mind and connect them with a more unconventional, out of the box approach? 

marble and pink notebookThe other day, I was sitting on my iPad going through my schedule for the day. I recently got acquainted with using the Apple Pencil for more than just school work. I have been using it quite liberally for a different purpose: creation. OneNote is no longer just an application for organizing my life, but now serves as my mind map journaling station too. 

Mind map journaling is a method I discovered by accident. I wrote down a single word and drew a box around it. Next thing I knew, I was connecting words to sentences to drawings and circling things and squaring things and adding in stars and exclamation points. Arrows were bringing together all of what felt like disconnected thoughts. I journaled through what seemed like a drawing. I zoomed out and saw what I had made. Everything began to make sense. This accidental technique allowed me to connect thoughts, ideas and questions I had about my life in ways that conventional journaling cannot. Mind map journaling lets me make realizations, come to conclusions and seek clarity in ways I could not before. Our minds are not wired to think in an orderly fashion. Rather, our thoughts spiral pretty often. A connects to B, but A also connects to C and D, even though they do not fall right after each other. Mind map journaling allows you to see those connections. 

a woman sits at a wooden desk writing in a notebook. there is an imac in front of her.

Once establishing those connections, you fly into a state of clarity that forces a sense of positivity and euphoria. You are in tune with your emotions. You understand how you are feeling and why you feel that way, and even if you are not feeling your best, this sense of knowing is a force of positivity that is undeniable. 

Inducing this state of happiness through journaling is not a secret. Journaling is known to serve as an escape as it organizes your thoughts-- possibly one of the most healthy escapes possible! 

Although I obviously did not ditch traditional journaling, welcoming this new activity into my daily routine has been nothing short of exciting, enlightening and fulfilling. Every morning, I grab my iPad and headphones, plop onto my bed and begin. I start with one word, box it, and see what thoughts it provokes. I am left feeling grounded and more connected than ever. Keep in mind: you do not need an iPad to try this way of journaling. You can use nearly anything that can be written on. This is up to you. I have created a guide for reference to this approach, available right here: mind map journaling guide.