Do you feel overwhelmed and stressed? Are there too many things on your mind that you can’t seem to shake? If so, then you need to try the brain dump technique!
This simple method will help declutter your mind and make you feel more relaxed and focused. In this blog post, we will discuss how to do a brain dump effectively, and provide some tips for getting the most out of this stress-relieving technique.
What is a Brain Dump
Did you know that people spend 46.9% of their waking hours thinking about things they aren’t actually doing in the moment and that it makes them unhappy?
Our wandering minds can have a huge impact on our emotional wellbeing. We can’t control the thoughts that pop into our heads but once they are there we can use techniques that help us focus our thoughts and calm our mind.
A brain dump is simply a way to get all of the thoughts and ideas swirling around in your head down on paper (or in a digital document). This can be helpful when you’re feeling overwhelmed, as it allows you to visually see everything that’s on your mind.
A mind dump can help you to better organize and prioritize your thoughts. By dumping all of your thoughts down in one place, you can clear your mind and focus on what’s important. Getting your thoughts out of your head can also help to relieve some of the mental clutter and stress that you may be feeling.
The reason a brain dump is so effective is because it allows you to unload all of the stress and anxiety that comes with having too many things on your mind. When you have a lot of thoughts floating around, it can be difficult to focus on anything.
However, when you write them down, you are no longer carrying them around in your head. Your brain will stop worrying about forgetting something because it knows you wrote it down. This can help you feel lighter, and more able to focus on the task at hand.
Learning techniques that can help you succeed in life are super important. I love this post that talks about things you need to do to succeed in your 20s. It’s full of great info that you should learn early in life but can help anyone at any age.
Benefits of Doing a Brain Dump
There are many benefits to doing a brain dump. In addition to the ones we’ve already mentioned, brain dumps can also:
- Help you to better solve problems, as you’re able to clearly see all of the different elements at play.
- Allow you to identify any negative or self-defeating thoughts that may be holding you back.
- Give you a sense of relief and calm, as you no longer have to keep all of those thoughts swirling around in your head.
- Get tasks done. Some of the thoughts you have are most likely things you need to get done. But because they’re just floating around in your head, it’s easy to forget about them or push them to the back burner. By dumping them out, you can see what needs to be done, and take action accordingly.
What to Write in a Brain Dump
Literally everything that pops into your head. This can include:
- Things you need to do
- Ideas for projects
- Thoughts about your day
- Worry about a certain situation
- Something that’s been bothering you
- A memory that won’t leave you alone
Bottom line: if it’s taking up space in your head, write it down!
How to Carry Out a Brain Dump
Now that we’ve gone over some of the benefits of doing a brain dump, let’s discuss how to actually do one. The great thing about this technique is that there’s no wrong way to do it. However, there are a few tips that can help you get the most out of your brain dump.
- First, find a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted. This will allow you to focus on the task at hand, and not be distracted by outside noise.
- Next, grab a piece of paper and a pen (or open up a blank document on your computer).
- Then, set a timer for five minutes (or more, if you feel like you need it). Once the timer starts, start writing down everything that’s on your mind. Don’t worry about grammar, spelling, or whether or not what your writing makes sense. Just get it all out.
- It also doesn’t need to be pretty. I love to see other peoples bullet journals but if I waited until I could make my brain dump look cute then it would never happen so just get writing.
- Once the timer goes off, take a look at what you’ve written. You may be surprised by how much was actually on your mind!
Organizing Your Brain Dump
Now, it’s time to organize your thoughts. This isn’t a necessary step though.
Sometimes getting the thoughts out of your head is enough to relax the mind and move on. However, some people might need to organize those thoughts in order for a brain dump to be effective.
Step 1. First go through your list, and highlight the things that are most important, or that you need to take action on. I highlight these items in yellow.
You’re looking for physical tasks that need to get done first. This is the grocery shopping, errand running, laundry washing, take soup to a sick friend things you need to get done. These items can go on a list with most important items at the top.
Step 2. It’s okay for your list to have a “later” pile. I use a second highlighter in a different color for these items. This can include stuff you need to get done but don’t necessarily need to do right away.
If your list feels too long then see if there’s anything you can let go or delegate to someone else.
Step 3. Look over anything else that is in your brain dump and see if it needs your attention. There will be plenty of thoughts that you can ignore once they are out of your head but there might be others you see reoccurring that need more thought or that might be problematic.
These can be ideas for future projects that are just ideas at the moment but still take up space in your mind. Questions like, should I change my hair or that book idea you’ve had for a while now.
But, they can also be negative thoughts about yourself or others. Frustrated feelings you keep having. Overwhelm from the amount of things you have on your plate. You want to be aware of these things because negative thoughts have an huge impact on your daily life.
If you see them pop up often, it’s worth taking some time to explore why that is, and see if there’s anything you can do about it.
Finally, take some time to relax, and give yourself a pat on the back for getting all of those thoughts out of your head!
Brain Dump Questions Answered
Here are a couple of common question that come up when learning about how to do a brain dump.
1. How long should you brain dump for?
Like I said before, 5-10 minutes is all you should need to do for an effective mind dump. But you might find that you need more time when you first start out.
As you do your brain dump on a regular basis you might find you need less and less time since you’ve been getting your thoughts out of your head regularly.
2. When should I do a brain dump?
Most people like to do a brain dump before bed because it’s a great way to settle your mind which helps you get to sleep faster. You can always carry your brain dump over into the next morning by writing out your list then so you know exactly what you need to get done that day. But really it’s all about when you have time in your day and what works for you.
If you are only doing a brain dump once a week then Sunday is a good day to schedule your brain dump. Then you can see what you are worried about and things you need to get done for the week ahead. You’ll start your Monday off on the right foot.
3. How often should I do a brain dump?
Again, this is up to you but most people do them daily or weekly. However, you can use this brain dump technique periodically when you’re having a hard time quieting your brain. I find it most effective when doing it on a regular basis though.
You can also do a brain dump by category. This means you can do one for home life, one for work, or a big project you have coming up. You could do a brain dump for goals you want to start. These types of brain dumps can be accomplished anytime you feel like it and don’t need to be done on a regular basis.
4. What should I use for my brain dump?
What you use for a brain dump is also your preference. Some people like to use a journal or memo pad. Others prefer a laptop/computer because they can type faster and get more out of their head. There are even apps you can use.
I’ve even grabbed a scrap paper that was sitting near by because it’s what I had on hand when I really needed to get my thoughts out of my head. A more permanent note pad would be better if you plan on to do mind dumps on the regular.
5. I’m having a hard time getting started. What are some brain dump prompts I can use?
You really can write anything that pops into your head but if you seem to be drawing a blank then here are some topics to consider:
- Tasks – yesterdays, todays, tomorrows
Brain Dump Method for a Calm Mind
Doing a brain dump can be a helpful way to declutter your mind, and make you feel more focused and relaxed. It’s a quick and simple method that can have a big impact.
Anyone can try this mind calming practice with tools you already have at home and in just a couple of minutes a day or week. By following the tips in this blog post, you can get the most out of this stress-relieving technique.
Have you ever tried doing a brain dump to tackle your busy mind and organize your thoughts? Did it work for you? Let us know about your experience in the comments below!