Our minds are amazing, but with life’s stresses or anxieties, it can take your mind in circles and leave it in a bit of a mess. Brain dumping is a highly effective way to combat stress and calm your mind.
Our minds are complex and need to be looked after just as you would the rest of your body. Stress can negatively effect on your body and mind that can lead to really serious conditions. So it is important that you find a way of coping with stress and anxieties and not bottle them up.
I used to internalise all of the stress or anxious thoughts I would have, which did not help me feel any better. When I started different styles of journaling I found it a really effective technique to improve my mental well-being.
In a 2018 study, 74% of UK adults had felt stressed at some point with more women at 81% compared to men at 67%. Stress can be caused by many different reasons, but those feelings can all lead to a negative impact on your mental health.
This post is sharing everything you need to know about the brain dumping technique and how it can help you with stress management.
What is a brain dump?
A brain dump is a list of everything that is inside your mind at that particular moment. It is a bit like a form of brainstorming. You are putting all your stressors, thoughts, annoyances and ideas on a piece of paper. You write them all down until you feel less pressure and you will have achieved the brain dump. Brain dumps are going to solve every problem, stress or anxious thought, but they are certainly an effective tool in your toolkit.
Brain dump pages are often associated with bullet journaling, which is true as that is how I found out about them. However, you do not need to have a bullet journal to use this technique. You just need an empty notebook, you could use a notes page in your diary or even on your phone whatever you prefer.
Why Are Brain Dumps Effective?
It may sound ineffective, listing out all your problems, worries and anxieties on paper, but how does it actually help?
Brain dumping works because you are using your notebook or bullet journal to nail things down as they come; it can’t develop and it can’t help avoid catastrophizing your worries. Once you have u ten to paper, it cannot leave.
That task, worry or thought cannot do another circle around your head, building momentum and increase stress. It is left on the page, so you can work through all your thoughts and pin them down one at a time.
What are the benefits of brain dumps?
There are so many benefits to practising a regular brain dump. You can reduce your stress, feelings of being overwhelmed as well as feelings of anxiety. You are removing the ‘overthinking’ thoughts from your mind and placing them on paper. It enables you to work freely on each individual thing, making it more manageable and less daunting.
When you feel like the weight has been lifted, you can focus, manage tasks and even sleep better.
Other benefits can include:
Improved productivity levels
You have fewer distractions
You will be more organised
Reduced feelings of anxiety
Gain mental clarity on difficult situations
Relieves depression symptoms
Improves your self-esteem and self-confidence
What should I write on my dump pages?
So you know this technique is effective, but what should you actually write? You may be thinking that, but that is okay because it is tailored to you; you can have several brain dump ages for different reasons. You can have a specific to-do list that you have been meaning to tackle.
List of errands for the weekend
A grocery list
Blog post ideas
Birthday or occasion reminders
Send that email or letter
A declutter reminder
Practise your lettering
You can doodle
However, your brain dump doesn’t need to be task oriented, you can use your brain dump specifically for writing down what is on your mind, they don’t necessarily need to have a call to action, and it is about removing them from your mind.
What have you been worrying about?
What do you keep forgetting to do?
Is someone annoying you?
What are your anxious thoughts?
What is currently causing you stress?
Has something annoyed you?
Why do you feel sad or down?
Why do you feel anxious?
What has made you angry?
What are your biggest fears?
You do not have to use a brain dump in a list format. You can just jot them down like you are mind-mapping or brainstorming, or you can use stickers or even doodle, whatever feels more natural to you.
What should I do next?
When you have finished writing, you have some options as to what your next steps are. You can reflect on your list, identify what your stresses are and tackle the problem. Or you can take the time to acknowledge what your concerns are and then first take care of yourself, practise another form of self-care and come back to your brain dump page(s) later or the following day with a clearer head.
Therefore, the next time you are feeling overwhelmed by stress or anxious thoughts, reach for your pen and notebook and use the brain dumping technique to gain mental clarity.
Have you tried the brain dumping technique before? I’d love to hear in the comments.
This guest post was written by Lauren, check out her blog here.