Brain Dump

Brain Dump: De-stressing to Manage Your Mental Health

Have you ever find yourself being too anxious or feeling stressed without any noticeable trigger? Sometimes, you wake up stressed for no reason. On other occasions, you may find that your brain is so full of ideas and random thoughts that you can’t focus. You feel that your brain is restless, haggard and full of confusion. How do you fix such overwhelming sensations? Well, in such situations, I generally use a method called the brain dump. Brain dumping can transform your life if you stick to it properly.

What is Brain Dump?

Brain dump is a self-reflection technique. You write down all of your thoughts on a paper in a speedy manner (usually within 5 or 10 minutes). Brain dumping is a strategic way of spilling worries, stressors, ruminating thoughts, random ideas, tasks, and dreams out of your head. This “brain drain” exercise frees up your mind and release the thoughts trapped in your head; helping you declutter your brain and bring clarity.

Brain Dump

In a way, brain dumping is almost like a functional stream-of-consciousness exercise. Unlike journaling here there are no prompts or no structure, you just write anything you want to get out of your head. It doesn’t have to sound intellectual as if you were writing an essay – with the introductory paragraph, the body paragraph, and the concluding paragraph. You do not need a general thought, or a topic sentence, or a thesis subject. Even, you don’t have to write complete sentences. All you need to do is to write down all of your passing thoughts.

Benefits of Brain Dumping

There are so many benefits of brain dumping. Writing things down:

When to Brain Dump

Ok, you have a notebook and pen or a digital way to take notes, now when is the best time to brain dump? Well, to be honest, there really isn’t “the best time” to use one. But here are a few different approaches people may use throughout the day:

In the Early Morning

I personally prefer this time, because it clears my head for the rest of the day and I can get out all the ideas I may have dreamed up overnight.

After Work

Some people prefer to brain dump after work. It helps you to drain out the professional worries and stressors and allow you for better work-life balance.

Before Bed

Same as right in the morning, brain dumping right before bed can clear your mind from day’s negative vibrations and put you at ease so you can have a quality sleep.


This is where it’s nice to have something to brain dump with at any hour of the day. You may do comprehensive brain dump when you are stressed or anxious. You may do it during lunch hours at office. If you don’t find time for daily brain dump, you can do a weekly review brain dump.

Again, it’s all about what works for you, and you can experiment at first to find the best time of day for you.

How to Brain Dump?

By now brain dumping may be sounding a good idea to you, but you may not know how to get started. Before starting, the most important thing to keep in your mind is that brain dumping doesn’t have many rules. The idea is to “dump” all your thoughts and feelings on a paper freely, without worrying about the end result. Let the stream of consciousness flow from your mind to a blank page.

Here are some steps for brain dumping:

Get yourself a journal

Get a good journal and a pen for your brain dumping. This can be a bound journal, a composition notebook, or a notepad. You can also use an online tool, including a tablet, the “notes” section on your smartphone, or a word file on your personal computer. You may use, whatever feels convenient to you.

Choose the Timings

As mentioned above, some people like to brain dump first thing in the morning and some prefer to brain dump after work. Others prefer to do so at night, right before going to bed. Again, it’s all about what works best for you.

Find a Place

Find a place which is quiet and free of distractions. This can be your bedroom, your office, a coffee shop, or a park outside.

Time Span

Set a timer, or note the time when you start. You don’t have to strictly time your brain dumping, but it can be helpful to set a goal of at least 5 minutes so that you stick with the exercise.

Dump Out Everything

The most important thing is to dump out whatever thoughts and  feelings are coming in your mind. Remember that you don’t have to be “good.” You aren’t trying to impress anyone here. No one needs to even see what you are writing! Your writing can be messy, and grammar and spelling don’t matter. The main goal here is to just get everything out.

Make Your Own Rules

There are no structure, no prompts, no set rules for writing. Make your own rules for braining dumping exercise. You can write in short phrases, you can write in lists, or you can write in complete sentences. Even you can write in bulleted keywords.

You make like to write about some worries you have. Or maybe you want to write down what’s making you upset lately. You can write whatever you want and what you write can change from day to day. It kind of self-talk when you’re alone. You are just doing that in written form. What if you have nothing to write? This may happen. Sometimes you feel that your mind is just blank. Whenever this happens to you, just start by writing “I have nothing to write” over and over; you’ll eventually find yourself talking about something else.

The Next Step

Once you have completed brain dump and you feel satisfied with your work. You can look at your list or notes, identify what is stressing you out, and make actionable steps to tackle those problems. After analyzing brain dump notes you can prioritize the key action points.


The next time you start to feel your emotions becoming overwhelmed with too much brain activity, pull out your favorite pen and settle in for a brain dump. It doesn’t take long. Brain Dump is an effective way for helping you tackle your problems, relax your mind, and take care of yourself. This regular maintenance is as important as cleaning – once you’ve emptied your brain of these pesky problems, you give yourself mental space for new ideas and thoughts to take root. So go ahead – take out your brain and give it a good shake with a brain dump!

Have you tried brain dumping before? How has it helped improve your life? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

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