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One Simple Trick To Overcome Overwhelm

Updated: May 30, 2020

Are you having issues sleeping, concentrating, or working through your emotions lately? Perhaps with all the changes, you find yourself out of balance, and it's hard to stay on top of your days.

I have recently been there; I experienced all the above.

My brain was unusually restless and haggard, and I was stressed out and frustrated.

The good news is I have been able to move past it, thanks to a simple and easy technique that can be can be done in minutes called brain dumping.

Simply put, a brain dump is emptying all the contents of your mind onto paper. Just like dumping the contents of a purse onto a table or emptying your pockets.

If it sounds too easy, that's because it is! Don't get me wrong, I am skeptical by nature, so when I first read about this, I couldn't help but wonder: How can writing my thoughts solve anything?

I did what I do best and turned to science, and there it was!

Just like physical clutter, a cluttered brain causes stress and anxiety.

Scientific studies show that decluttering your mind by jotting your thoughts down is an effective way to decrease stress and increase productivity.

How does it work?

When you're stressed, you have a tornado of ideas swirling in your head. The winds are whipping, the cows are flying, everything is up in the air.

Trying to capture these thoughts with no tool is like... well, it's like trying to catch smoke with your hands. It's impossible.

A brain dump allows you to capture those abstract thoughts and make them tangible.

By turning to paper, you can nail things down in absolutes.

You can stop chasing after half-formed ideas and put them in the inescapable form of the written word so you can methodically sort through them.

What do you need?

You need:

  • Two blank sheets of paper.

  • A writing utensil.

That's it.

You can use a journal, a notebook, or even the back of an envelope. Keep it simple.

How to braindump effectively?

I use three simple steps.

1- Conceptualize

Do you know that "first word that pops into your head" game?

This is the perfect time to play that game.

On your first page, try to empty your brain as quickly as you can. Don't censor or edit your thoughts, allow them to flow organically.

Even if your thoughts don't make sense to you, just jot them all down on paper.

Chicken scratch, scribbles, drawings, etc., any way you write is certainly welcomed. It helps to do this in a quiet place without distractions.

How long do you go? I like to set a timer for 15 mins and write as fast I can. But it's entirely up to you, and you are in control.

2- Organize

On your second page, sort through and organize your thoughts.

Categorize, group, or combine similar thoughts.

3- Prioritize

Now its time to prioritize... Again remember, you are in control here. I like to use the Eisenhower Matrix, which I have added here for you.

Rinse and repeat as many times as you would like.

A brain dump doesn't take long, but it goes a long way by allowing you to face your problems, relax your mind, and take care of yourself.

Next time you start to get overwhelmed or stressed, give it a try!

Open up a valve in your mind, let your thoughts flow out of your head to your fingers, and onto a piece of paper. Write until you feel like the pressure inside of you is lessened.

When you are finished, you will notice that you can breathe again

Thank you for reading. I hope you found this helpful! A brain dump is a great way to fight stress and be more productive when you need it most.

I appreciate your comments! If you have any tips you'd like to share, let me know below!

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