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How to Teach Your Children Mind-Mapping

How to Teach Your Children Mind-Mapping

Do you have children? Would you like to give them more fun in studying? Do you want to help them in ace-ing their tests at school? If so, you should definitely continue reading, as there are amazing things your child can learn from you! After reading this article, you will be a personal mind-mapping coach for your child.

Most people know about mind-mapping already. Do you use it yourself as well? I am sure most people use or have used the technique in one form or the other. The reason it works so well is because it makes use of both sides of your brain, taking the slightly more analytical left side and using words and relationships. It also benefits from the slightly more creative or colourful right side, using images and colours.

For adults this does wonders: We normally tend to use more of the ‘left’ side of our brains, using more words than images, more relationships than colours. Children, on the other hand, tend to work the other way around. For young children who have not been exposed to the adult way of thinking, drawing pictures still comes as natural. This is very important when you want to teach them mind-mapping.

I have to correct myself immediately when I write “teach them”, as we should not teach them mind-mapping: the moment we do that, we will only try to impose our rules and limitations onto their way of thinking. I believe we should help them explore this whole brain thinking on their own. The moment children learn mind-mapping or visual mapping techniques, they will have an advantage over the people who aren’t using these tools. They will be able to summarize books more quickly, create better notes, outline ideas and stories much more easily, etc. In short, their time in school becomes a lot more fun! They will enjoy studying and get better grades.

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This Is Your Coaching Outline

You are a coach, not a teacher. You are there to assist your child in finding out about different ways to outline ideas, thoughts and books, so don’t judge. Don’t impose ideas. Let them see where this journey will take them.

Great, now we have that out of our way, we can begin.

First, you make sure your child gets a big sheet of paper and a couple of different pens. You only tell your child that the next exercise is something they should be drawing; they can be as creative as possible.

Take a piece from one of their school books, or tell a story, making sure you use enough image words (words that are easily transformed into pictures). Image words could be those such as “tree”, “house”, “car”, or “power plant” no, I am just kidding… although, your child could probably create a really cool picture of that!).

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While you tell the story or read from the book, let your child draw.

After you are done, and your child is done drawing, you ask them to tell the story again using their drawing. Can they do that? Is their story about the same as the one you told? If so, you and your child did a wonderful job. If not, what caused the difference? Were the images not powerful enough? Or perhaps did you not use enough image words? Investigate together.

When your child knows how to do this, you can even go one step further. Take a new sheet of paper, and divide it in a couple of areas (the same number as you have topics in your story). The process starts all over again. You talk, your child draws. Just make sure that each topic is drawn in a single section. You then ask your child to recall the story using the drawing, and give them a pen to draw a line from one part of the story to the other. This is your branch!

If there are parts in your story that you could add more sub branches to, ask your child to add more (small) images with even more pictures. In the end, your child creates something that is almost a real mind map (perhaps even better than any mind map you ever created before!). For the real overachieving parent, you can do one more thing: after you created the map, give your child a new piece of paper and let them re-create the entire map from memory. You can of course give hints about what to add when they are lostyou might be amazed how wonderful their memory is!

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The final step is that you step away from your child, and you let them go through a book and create the images and story themselves.

This is the moment your child knows how to outline their ideas, thoughts, books, and much more in a visual map, without your assistance! The maps may not be what traditional mind mappers feel is right, but the map helps them achieve their goal and enjoy studying again.

Don’t worry if your child doesn’t create a perfect map—it isn’t about perfect maps, remember? This is all about your child handling information in a smarter, more efficient manner, and with more fun. The entire process of your child being able to do that depends on their age, interest in the topics, and perhaps even if it is wonderful weather outside. What I can say is that you usually can expect results quickly. Children love to draw, and this is completely in line with their way of thinking.

From now on, make sure you help your child when they are stuck or need motivation.

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Action Points

Action point 1: Be a supportive coach, not a parent who says what is right and wrong.

Action point 2: Use the step-by-step outline above to teach your child mind mapping.

Action point 3: Just sit back and smile when your child shows you their work (not much action, but a great feeling!)

Enjoy!

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Last Updated on August 13, 2020

12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

As a mediation teacher, I am constantly confronted with these two questions regarding the benefits of meditation:

1. Why can’t I enjoy the benefits of meditation continuously?

I ask back: Is it maybe because you see mediation as a technique, performance, or some exclusive activity? The answer is: yes!

Or, because your mind is constantly evolving on the past negative attachments and traditional habits? After careful thinking they answer: yes, probably!

Although meditation is very simple and challenging at the same time, in the above mentioned case, it’s not easy to benefit from meditation, especially when approached with the idea that it has to be learned, studied, or applied. Meditation is to be seen as a natural, mental cleansing process that happens on a basis of awareness on a moment-to-moment experience. When that takes place, the benefits of meditation are continuous.

2. What is the purpose of meditation?

The purpose of meditation is to accomplish a level of consciousness for mastering the mind and uniting with the finest, deepest, and subtlest part of yourself as a being.

It is a conscious process of observation of the mind—helping the meditator to understand the structure of its mind and the quality of its content. During this process, countless benefits of a physical, mental, and spiritual/philosophical nature arise for the meditator.

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Meditation as a Fixer and Benefactor

In this article we’ll have a look at the primary and the ultimate benefits of mediation, which improve your body and mind at the same time. For the sake of clarity, readability, and tangible experience, I have separated the benefits into three groups.

You can change just about anything you don’t like about yourself (psychologically, as well as physically) through meditation. However, this is only possible with a specific approach, when your brain allows the benefits of meditation to do their work.

This means not to interrupt the benefit with other thoughts, but to let their effect implement itself in your body and mind. This approach is crucial.

The following exercises will make you feel the benefits of meditation instantly, but the continuity of the benefits of meditation on your body and mind depend on the discipline of your brain, how you manage external stimuli and your thoughts.

Less Physical, More Psychological

Even though the practice of meditation is more psychological and less physical, the first benefit we’re going to experience is both physical as well as mental.

This benefit happens literally immediately, right at the moment of meditation. It is the essence of mediation basically.

The First Benefit of Meditation

The first benefit of meditation is twofold:

  1. Improving inward attention (sharpening the mind)
  2. Relaxation of the body

Let’s do it right now. This benefit consists of only one step, and it is very simple to perform. It goes like this:

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Sit still and pay attention to your exhalation.

That’s it! Technically, the whole journey into the world of mediation begins here and nowhere else. And right here, you benefit from this step in the following way:

When you pay attention to the flow of your exhalation (gentle, deep, effortless exhalation), your body begins with the process of relaxation instantly (your heart rate slows down, your nervous system calms, and tension in your muscles is relieved).

When the nervous system calms, your mind calms down, and, more specifically, less thoughts are produced by your mind. How, exactly? By applying one of the most valuable mental skills—attention—the mind follows the breathing and has no space and time to generate any other thoughts. Only when the attention goes off the breath, other thoughts are constructed, and the mind is accelerating with thought production again.

Keeping the First Benefit Effective and Ongoing

Here you apply the approach of not letting the relaxation and attention process get interrupted; rather let the effects of these benefits implant in your body and mind as deeply as possible.

This is to say, the instant relaxation and inward attention happen at the same time when you follow the flow of your breath. Repeating this process—creating a constant rhythm out of the breathing and the attention—you create a process of meditation.

Keep your attention on the flow of your breath and see how the calmness of body and mind begin to rule your present moment. The longer you stay connected to your breathing, the stronger you’ll feel the benefit. Start with 3-5 minutes at a time without doing anything else, and increase to 10-20 minutes and onwards.

Can you think of a better, simpler and quicker exercise that can relax the body and improve attention in this way, at this speed?

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This benefit takes you to the second one.

The Second Benefit of Meditation

While still working with the first benefit of mediation, you slowly start to see the second benefit of mediation, which is fourfold. I call it the major value of mediation:

  1. Energy (physical and mental strength)
  2. Observance
  3. Peacefulness (stillness, and space of mind for deeper observation)
  4. Patience

Peacefulness is the source of a blissful life. The energy is the fuel to express that blissfulness. Whatever we want to accomplish in life we need: 1) Physical and mental strength, 2) Observance of that energy, 3) Peacefulness—the calmness and stillness that creates space for freedom of being and creative thinking, and 4) Patience for the process of accomplishment.

You can only get creative in thinking and boosted with physical and mental energy when you get in touch with the deepest levels of yourself—when you harmonize your mental and physiological activities. How do you do that? Let’s try it right now:

This step involves the observation of the two separate movements of your breath. After paying attention on your exhalation, you have prepared your body and mind to really see and feel what true peacefulness and true energy means.

1. Energy

Keep your attention on your inhalation (inhaling gently, deeply and lightly) and feel the new energy (new oxygen) flowing in your body. The inhalation is the symbol for aliveness and vitality. It is the the primary act that connects the baby’s body with the outside world after coming out of the womb[1]. Each inhalation is a new opportunity for your body to revive, regenerate, and renew itself.

2. Observance

The observance comes during the process of meditation, enabling you to see the physiological benefits of introducing new energy to your body. Use that benefit by utilizing its effects, and create deeper observation into yourself. With every single inhalation, this observation will enable you to generate even more energy, mentally and physically.

3. Peacefulness

Keep your attention on your exhalation, and feel how, out of the relaxation, peacefulness is spreading throughout your whole body. The exhalation is the symbol for relaxation and peacefulness. Only through meditation can you realize what absolute peacefulness means.

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4. Patience

The meditation delivers the previous benefits to you immediately and opens up the possibility for many other benefits and great virtues. A specific one to mention, which is essential for reaching the ultimate benefits of meditation, is patience. If you have experienced the aforementioned benefits, it means that you have invested a certain amount of patience into mastering yourself and your mind.

The Ultimate Benefits of Meditation

Patience is a key quality when it comes to the ultimate benefits of meditation.

Since the mind is the tool that reveals everything, mediation is the method for the proper utility of the tool.

The above mentioned benefits of mediation lead to the ultimate benefits of mediation—qualities that depict what makes a human being human. As you dwell in a meditative state of being, the following benefits begin to emanate:

  • Diligence: the persistence for righteous effort to reach an intrinsic value; inner strength.
  • Temperance: to express self-control and show excellence in managing the physio-biological and mental necessities
  • Courage: using righteous effort and braveness to look into the weaknesses of yourself and at the hardship of your life, endure it and patiently overcome the obstacles
  • Loving kindness and Compassion – a capacity to care, understand, and tolerate other people’s state of being, wishing them freedom from suffering.
  • Wisdom: the moment when you feel that mediation gives you the feeling and the knowledge that what you do relating to life and practical affairs is just.
  • Equanimity: that puts you in a state of composure, and you experience an ongoing blissful state of being.

These are the 6 ultimate benefits of meditation that put your body and mind in a state of health and balance.

Final Thoughts

Mediation exists to put order in your mind and awaken the best of you, to reconnect you to your goodness and your inborn intelligent capabilities.

Meditation is the window to your true Self. It gives you a panoramic view of your heart’s greatness. It shows you the true meaning of love, freeing you from the dungeons of ignorance and despair. The power of meditation dismantles the evil that’s trying to cloud the beauty of your heart.

Your heart, body, and soul are the bridge over which the challenges of life frequently carry their heavy load. Meditation is the support of that bridge. Make use of that support.

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Featured photo credit: Mor Shani via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Medline Plus: Changes in the newborn at birth

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