Stress is something we’re all familiar with. While stress can affect many different areas of our lives, you’re probably most familiar with the effect that stress can have within your workplace and day to day working routine. Stress is something that can hit you at any time and isn’t always the bad thing we see it as. In small doses, a little bit of stress can do wonders for your ability to take on new challenges and give your productivity that extra boost. However, while experiencing some stress in the workplace is normal, excessive stress can have a severely detrimental effect on your mental health, causing you to feel overwhelmed, anxious and can even take a toll on your physical health. According to recent studies, stress amounts to nearly 40% of all work-related illness. Yet, even with stress affecting so many of us, many employees may feel reluctant to talk about it in work. But ultimately, dealing with stress when it occurs can help to improve our health and happiness in all areas of our lives.
Whether it’s your workload that’s causing you stress, or perhaps you’re struggling to come up with a good idea for your next project; Mind Maps are a great way to think outside the box and tackle your stress with a different approach.
Mind Mapping can be used for a variety of tasks, from brainstorming and planning to studying or even presenting ideas. But they can also provide a unique way to escape your external pressures, allow you to clear your mind and sort through the noise in your head. Take a moment to think about how your brain works; once you come up with an idea for something, this usually tends to spark off various different trains of thought. A Mind Map works in the same way. Try using software such as iMindMap 11 to create your map and begin by typing out the topic you intend to explore as your central idea. From here, you can then begin to add various branches to your map to explore different themes in greater depth. Mind Mapping is a flow-flowing technique, and you will find ideas and keywords will flow naturally and quickly as you build and grow your map.
So how does this relate to stress?
Stress can play a big role in our lives, and taking the right approach to dealing with it can have a really positive effect on how well you cope day to day. Mind Mapping allows you to freely explore your thoughts and ideas, no matter what the subject. The beauty of Mind Maps is that they provide you with an infinite canvas and can stretch as far as you need them to. Is there an area in your life which is causing you particular grief? Perhaps it’s a looming work project or the number of tasks you’re trying to juggle. Turn this topic into a Mind Map to explore your thoughts on this in greater detail. By using keywords to spark off greater associations as you capture your thoughts, you may discover the root of your stress by allowing your mind to wonder.
If it’s workload, in particular, that’s causing you stress, it’s also likely that you have notes on your tasks (both physical and digital) scattered around your desk and laptop, which is a danger zone for making your feel swamped with various trains of thought and not knowing where to start. Mind Maps help you to gather all these notes and ideas into one dynamic space, that you can turn into a hub of creative thoughts to help you sort through the noise.
One of the most common things we experience when dealing with stress is feeling overwhelmed and out of control because of the pressure that is on top us. Try gathering your thoughts in a visual Mind Map, and this will help you to organise your thoughts into something meaningful and engaging – providing you with a place to store your ideas that you can return to whenever you feel a fresh burst of inspiration. Once you’ve collected your feelings on what is causing you stress into your map, you will likely feel more in control of how you want to handle the situation. You can assess your map and break it up into smaller areas so it feels less overwhelming, and then address each section one step at a time.