Self Development
Using Mind Mapping in Creative Thinking Exercises

by Paul Urban
Studies indicate that mind maps are the best tools to improve creative thinking, which promotes skills like imagination, flexibility and association of ideas. Uncover your creative thinking using this five-stage unique process.
There are some important elements one needs to know if you want to improve your creative thinking.

According to psychological research, these elements include using colors, shapes, unique elements, and dimensions.

More studies show that mind maps are the best tools in promoting creative thinking. It promotes skills commonly associated with creativity, especially imagination, flexibility and association of ideas.

What are mind maps? Mind Maps are visual diagram with lines and bubbles that represent ideas and the relationships between them.

The central idea is found in the middle with related topics branching out from them. It is then broken down to different subtopics that relate to the central idea.

By using mind mapping as a creative thinking exercise, this can promote people to create many creative and innovative ideas. There are 5 stages of the Creative thinking process:
  1. The Quick-Fire Mind Map Burst
    Choose any topic that interests you. To represent that topic, draw a central image on a blank paper or any material that you can write on. You should let ideas flow as fast as possible to encourage new ideas. At first you may feel that some ideas seem illogical or senseless, but still, write them down because these ideas may be useful later on.

  2. First Reconstruction and Revision
    Have a short break and allow your mind to rest and integrate ideas. Create another but this time, try to categorize the preliminary ideas. You can build hierarchies and identical ideas should be given attention. Through mind maps, individuals can explore and grow.

  3. Incubation
    Creative ideas often occur when the brain is relaxed (sleeping, daydreaming, running etc). The thinking process can create probable breakthroughs in this stage.

  4. Second Reconstruction and revision
    At this stage, you have a fresh perception of your first and second Mind maps so it would be a great time to do another mind map burst. Integrate the information gathered in stages 1, 2 and 3 to create a final Map.

  5. The Final Stage
    After creating the final mind map, all you need to do now is search for the decision, solutions and realizations since this was your original goal.
Once you've tried doing these 5 Stages of Creative Thinking, you will be surprised with the all the innovative and creative ideas coming your way.

For those who haven't had any experience with mind mapping, there are mind mapping software available in the market today. Computer based mind mapping is as good as the traditional method of mind mapping. By using mind mapping, you can now uncover your creative thinking.
Paul Urban Is a Passionate Mind Mapping Consultant that has spent many years developing Creative Thinking Exercises to help people develop Visual Thinking Techniques, visit http://www.mindmappingforsuccess.com for more information.
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