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Mind Map of Feelings

As negative emotions arrive in our guest house, a pattern emerges which over repeated discernments bring forth the wisdom we desire. Mind mapping is a quick and creative tool to jot down the events as our emotions arrive, their thoughts and actions, our reactions, and their consequential or accompanying feelings. Through this framework, we create a narrative that we can better understand and to uncover the wisdom that is harnessed.


It is fun for me to understand my feelings and the gravity of the emotion as it happens. My mind maps are really simple. Here's an example of how a trigger event (being late for work) leads to stress, leads to fear of being late, being judged and then I judge myself for not being good enough! 

Mind Map of Stress and Low Self Worth (1).png

Explainer: Mind Map of Feelings

Keeping this simple, I start by the color RED for a feeling of desolation, GREEN for a reasoning or thought processing phase - this is usually where the message is delivered, the inner wisdom. Finally BLUE represents feelings of consolation.

Start in the middle of a piece of paper and circle in the primary feeling. Annotate it with a "D". "C" or "W" for desolation, consolation and wisdom if you lack a colored pen or pencil. Turn on your intuition and just flow with the next sub-topic or topics that follow the primary feeling. This thinking process helps provide some space between you and the feeling and helps kickstart the contemplation as your mind intuitively brings you into curious disposition as you review the main topic.

Next, follow on the flow by uncovering secondary feelings that are associated with the primary feeling. These could be associated feelings or the underlying cause, simply jot them down. Keep going until a full set of feelings are uncovered for each sub-topic. As you scribble your feelings down, also note what could be the surface-level message the feeling brings. In my example, my fear of being judged as a failure was a reason tagged to the feeling of being fearful, and it could also lead to a feeling of being a failure. Only then, wisdom started to come as I started asking why am I a failure for being 10 minutes late for work? Am I not good enough that I have to be always on time?

In this example, wisdom came through asking the questions Why. In other instances, it could be a result of considering what happened, how it happened, when it happened, who did it happen with.

When to use it?

The mind map is often after the feelings have emerged and we go straight into a mindful mind mapping or journaling to review and contemplate. We can also visualize the guest house which helps us remove our self from the feeling and then finally mapping things down when you are in a state of consolation. I find that the second option works best for me, but there are many ways of letting our feelings come and go, with full surrender and acceptance to the experience. Here is an example, based on a situation that occurred while I was writing this book.

Detailed Example at Work (link)

A checklist as a guide

  1. Allow your mind to drift into a peaceful state while observing

  2. Visualize the feeling in the guest house

  3. Let it act and say what it says

  4. How do i react normally on this feeling?

  5. What is this feeling me protecting me from or serving any purpose to me?

  6. What other feelings arise?

  7. What do these feelings say or do?

  8. What are such feelings saying about my own inner desires?

  9. Patterns - has similar sequences happened?

  10. Mind map the sequence of events

  11. What are the negative beliefs, thoughts formed which cause the action to occur?

The most important mental note to self is to keep the journaling in flow and be flexible and allow yourself the space to be mindfully present.

Review time!

Observing our patterns

  1. Consolations such as Joy, Love, Peace, Playfulness, Curiosity and Hope may come together

  2. Feelings of Calm, Awe, Peace may bring about inspiration and gratitude

  3. Do I feel loved, safe and secure?

What are the beliefs and thoughts about yourself or the situational trigger that create this chain of positive feelings?

  1. Do I believe that I was instrumental or at least a contributing factor towards the manifesting of the situation or positive event?

  2. When have I felt such feelings before?

  3. Do I believe that I can and will experience this set of feelings again if I desire it?

What shall I do to integrate this wisdom into my life?

How does my reflection answers make me feel?

As soon as we observe our patterns and find the triggers that spark off the series of unfolding behaviors and thoughts about ourselves, we will begin to find ways of creating different thought and actions, different identities about who we are, and hopefully with practice, we form entirely new patterns that are positive and for our greatest good!

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