Brain Dumping for Mental Health

What is brain dumping? Brain dumping has become the new kitschy way to describe a form of journaling. Brain dumping helps declutter your mind of excess thoughts that can ultimately overwhelm and even cause you anxiety. Have you ever had so many thoughts that they overwhelmed your day? Have you had so many ideas or motivations to do something but didn’t know where to start? Do you get anxiety from all the running lists on your mind? If so, then brain dumping may just be the thing to get you some quick and easy relief and in more control of your day.

As the name implies, brain dumping is just that, dumping out everything you’re carrying that is on your mind onto a piece of paper. It doesn’t have to be fancy, in fact, one of the best things, if not the best thing about brain dumping, is that it’s unorganized. Brain dumping allows you to write as randomly as the thought comes to you and get it onto paper. Similar to more organized journaling, brain dumping lifts the weight of those thoughts from you and onto paper. It frees up space and energy you may need in other areas of your day. By putting your thoughts onto paper (or maybe a notes app if you prefer digital notes) it lets you see a visual of everything you want to be tending to and gives you a visual idea of how best to prioritize them.

Check out this simple notebook I found online that is perfect from brain dumping. It’s colorful and I’m sure just as varied as all the thoughts you'd want to write down.




Once you have completed the brain dump, you can then begin to categorize them. For example, you can categorize by urgency to complete, simplest to most complex or even see which tasks you might be able to outsource and take off your plate completely. This method of organizing your thoughts will give you an immediate sense of accomplishment rather than sitting with all your wandering thoughts and letting them overcome you. By giving them a new place to live, you can start to be more strategic in how best to tackle all your tasks and goals you were overwhelmed with. 

Think about how when you start decluttering a space in your house and you are just fed up. What is one of the first things you might be inclined to do? You might want to take everything out of that closet or pantry; clean it up, get rid of what you no longer need, want or have room in your new tidy space. Same concept with brain dumping; get it all out and sort accordingly. A tip is to time your brain dumping session so that way it can really drive you to output the most onto that piece of paper and less of them still lingering with you. It’s a sound practice to incorporate into your day if possible, if not at least weekly. We don’t think of how heavy it can get to carry it all and what it does to our mental health. This unorganized yet effective method of journaling could possibly make the difference between being completely overwhelmed and anxious and being your most healthy and productive self. 

Had you heard about this type of journaling before? If so, do you find it helpful? Share in the comments ways you like to declutter your thoughts.

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