Samstag, 10. November 2012

Using Mind Maps for dream recall

In the book 'Use Your Memory: Understand Your Mind to Improve Your Memory and Mental Power' by Tony Buzan beside interesting hints to improve your overall memory you find the tip for improving your dream recall via Mind Mapping.
Researching the internet and books about dreaming you usually get the advice to write a dream diary, but very few people try using a Mind-Map.

Advantages of using MindMaps

Usually Mind Maps are used for structuring information, maybe to prepare speeches or lectures which works perfectly well. 
In early stages of the preparation or organizing your knowledge you may add some aspects with no problems and without interrupting your flow of ideas.

That is perfect for writing down dreams: Dream Recall often occurs not linearly, maybe you recall the end of a dream first and while writing your MindMap you remember details from earlier moments.
If you start writing your dream diary with continuous text you may get into some complication.

Writing a Mind-Map

I prefer writing a Mind Map by hand using a spiral-bound notepad which I turn horizontal. Immediately after waking up I start making notes.
I begin in the center of the notepad and write down the central topic of the dream. Creative people also may draw a little picture instead of using a 'headline'.

This central point is the origin for branches on which I write down the important key words of the dream. The more details I remember the more branches will be there in this MindMap.
Tony Buzan stresses the importance of finding good key words because this words will give structure to the whole MindMap.
I personally arrange my MindMaps by the different locations of my dreams.

In the following picture you see a scan of a casual MindMap.



The more time I have the more detailed my MindMaps become. At the weekend I write down my MindMap, which lasts about 2 or 3 minutes, turn the page and get an hour of extra sleep, wake up after a dream, write a MindMap and go to sleep again. During my working week I just have time to write the most important things down and make the fair-copy into my dream journal when I return home.

Further Applications

There are several books by Tony Buzan about the application of MindMaps. I have used the MindMaps for preparing speeches. In his book 'Use your head' he tells about students who managed to complete their examination paper in one third of the usual time and even got better marks than expected.
You can also use them as an efficient way for making notes in lectures or meetings.

See also:
The Mind Map Book by Tony Buzan at Amazon.com

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