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The tree-like thinking of highly sensitive people

Tree thinking, linear, intuitive, there are many ways of thinking. Knowing this is important, because this data provides an element of response to people who feel a feeling of disconnect. Yes, we all have our own way of thinking and reasoning. From this observation, we can better understand why we do not all arrive at the same conclusions and especially why we experience misunderstandings or misunderstandings.

tree thinking


Tree thinking is abundant thinking. This is a consequence of the multitude of neuronal connections in the brain. Thought sometimes unfolds in several directions, sometimes at the same time, each idea dividing into sub-ideas, by association of ideas or analogies. It is networked thinking: each idea creates a set of other ideas, which in turn create other ideas, etc.

Tree thinking is mind mapping

Yes, tree thinking works the same way as mind mapping. In mind mapping, we represent a general idea in the center. Then, we trace all around a set of ramifications of sub-ideas which connect to the general idea.

Tree thinking is therefore an important and rapid thinking activity, sometimes with a consideration of all possible outcomes to a situation, all the sub-ideas linked to an idea or all the possible solutions to a problem.

What are the differences between tree thinking and linear thinking?

Linear thinking refers to a logical way of thinking. For example, by saying the word flower, you could associate the following ideas with it:






This sequence of ideas is logical and responds to the theme of the word stated.

Thinking in a tree structure, for its part, will allow an idea A to create an idea B and so on. For example, starting from the same word, we could have:

On one side, garden, nature, rose, etc.

On the other side, phytotherapy, natural medicine, Asia, etc.

From flower to Asia, we clearly see the gap between these two ideas. This is called tree thinking. This explains why we may have the impression that HP and highly sensitive people can go from rooster to donkey in a few seconds. Now, everything is linked, but the intensity and speed of his thinking are such that it can seem disjointed.

Tree Thinking: a specificity of  High Potential and Highly Sensitive People?

Many people associate tree thinking with neuroatypicals, thinking it is a characteristic unique to them. The truth is that many people have this way of thinking.

However, Tree thinking is a form of thinking commonly found in High Potential People (HEP and HIP) and Highly Sensitive People (HSP), but the specificity of HP and HSP lies in the intensity and speed of this tree-based thinking, which can be both a strength and a weakness.

(Not sure if you're highly sensitive? Here are the signs of a highly sensitive person. You can also take the test here or below)

quiz: are you highly sensitive?

Tree thinking, very creative thinking

Multiple connections often make it possible to create very creative, innovative ideas. The multitude of associative links makes it possible to arrive at discoveries, inventions, new theories.

Tree thinking and academic difficulties

Tree thinking is not very effective in a school setting. Here are three forms of ineffective network thinking:

  • Thinking about several things at the same time can make you distracted, inattentive, unfocused,

  • The proliferation of ideas can lead to off-topics in an essay,

  • It can make it very difficult to organize ideas into a structured plan.

Conversely, linear thinking allows you to focus on one idea at a time without being distracted by other ideas.

Tree thinking and suffering

Often, gifted people talk about the difficulty in curbing this thinking activity. Here are some issues related to tree thinking:

  • Insomnia, because we think a lot,

  • Anxiety, especially when thoughts revolve around existential questions like death,

  • The addictive consumption of cannabis, used as an “off” button to thought activity,

  • The difficulty of being understood by people who have a linear way of thinking.

How to live better with a brain that is constantly in turmoil?

Now that we understand what tree thinking is and how it differs from other modes of thinking, it's time to focus on how to live with a brain that is constantly in turmoil.

It is clear that thinking in a tree structure can sometimes be exhausting and stressful. When does an idea stop? We know that once the machine is underway, it is complicated to stop it. This is why it is important to put in place strategies to stabilize this machine!

An effective technique is to write! Using a journal to write down all the ideas and thoughts that cross your mind will not only help free up your brain, but also make room for the most important ideas. By using this technique, you will also be able to more easily organize and prioritize them according to their importance.

Meditation is another useful technique for managing tree thinking. It helps to focus on the present moment and calm the mind. By practicing meditation regularly, you can learn to control the flow of your thoughts and calm them when necessary.

Creating routines and habits in your daily life is undoubtedly the most effective way to reconcile yourself with your way of thinking. It is not uncommon to see HP and HSP with busy schedules. Concentrating on one task at a time is complicated! By establishing routines, you can learn to shape your time, devote more time to your well-being, and prioritize your tasks.

Take away about tree thinking

  • Tree thinking is a characteristic common to many individuals.

  • It is more intense in HP and HSP

  • It is important to understand that there are different ways of thinking and that this often explains misunderstandings or misunderstandings.

  • Tree thinking can be a strength if taught using brain-calming tools and techniques.

  • Coaching is also one of these effective tools for learning to use tree-based thinking. Its role is to help you become aware of your strengths so that you can use them and achieve your goals. Contact me to find out more.


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