Visualize the Bigger Picture with Gratitude Mind Maps

gratitude mind map

Thinking about what I'm grateful for is an easy way to shake a bad mood or make a good mood last longer. It reminds me that most things in my life are going really well. I always write a few paragraphs of gratitude when I wake up, and often continue throughout the day.

Sometimes I'm just not in the mood to type sentences, or I'd rather do something more visual. In grad school at the University of Texas, I learned how to use mind maps to see connections that writing in paragraph form can't display. Start with a single word or theme to map, then add nodes of all the things the theme makes you think of. As you add to the map, patterns emerge. You begin to see how some words are bigger than others. The natural unfolding of word placement is meaningful as well. A mind map can be very revealing of the way you think, and it can show you where your strengths are.

Mapping gratitude creates a specific image that can be much easier to recall than a paragraph. Pulling up the memory of your mind map is a way to practice the feeling of gratitude without thinking in sentences. When I picture the mind map I made today, I feel relief. I have a giant pile of words connected to inspiration (my favorite feeling!), my health is big and strong, and I can see how much thoughts are connected to feelings. I could add to the map forever, or I could do a new one every day. I love that a gratitude mind map is a picture of happiness!

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