I discovered the concept of a brain dump in May 2018 and it is my favorite practice that I have learned. I share this concept with everyone especially if they are feeling overwhelmed or mentally cluttered. When I started my journey into decluttering and eventually minimalism the first area I knew needed a change were my thoughts. I felt like I couldn’t think because of all the noise. As a person with anxiety at times my thoughts were not just chaotic but harsh and filled with foreboding. I wanted a change and knew I had to start with my thoughts first.
Brain Dumps can be restorative and can help you create a plan. In order to do a brain dump you will need a few items.
- Paper or a notebook
- 2 different color writing utensil
- 15-25 minutes
At the most basic definition a brain dump is writing everything you are thinking about on paper. And I mean everything. The point is not to judge ourselves or filter while we write, but to just get it all out. Essentially dumping all your thoughts on paper. Take 10-15 minutes to write it all out.
Once you are done writing out all of your thoughts review your list. Using a different color writing utensil write what you can do about the thought. Take 5-10 minutes to write out your action for each item.
An Example is I am worried about finances. The action: I can plan ahead by writing my budget, I can refrain from buying things, and I can change my attitude.
Sometimes the thought we have just needs a change of attitude and sometimes the thought needs a whole action plan such as asking for help, planning your day, or creating a budget.
You will most likely write in short hand as we rarely think in full sentences . As a reminder don’t judge your thoughts or revise. You will not be sharing your paper with any one else.
Through this practice I have been able to listen to myself and get to know me better. At times I will review my thoughts and realize that I am coming from a skewed perspective and try to be more open to each item by thinking of myself as a third party. Reviewing my thought from an outside perspective helps me be more understanding and reminds me to treat myself with love and forgiveness instead of a place of judgement.
I encourage you to do a brain dump and see what you are thinking about. I hope you find this helpful and that you get some benefit out of the practice. Be sure to share any thoughts that came up during this practice.