Are you feeling stressed? Feeling overwhelmed? Does your mind just keep replaying things even though you are trying to sleep?
You might be in need of a brain dump. Write out the things that are swimming around in your thoughts. This will allow your brain to release those jumbled thoughts. They will be safe on the paper and your brain doesn't need to keep them swirling about, replaying them so you don't forget them.
Writing out your thoughts will give your brain a rest. It will clear your mind so you can focus on one task at a time.
Steps to make your brain dump successful:
- Write down everything that is swirling about. This is not the time for judgement. Every thought is okay. There are no bad thoughts or good thoughts. No smart thoughts or dumb thoughts.
- Just write, don't slow down for neatness or spelling.
- If your thoughts are so jumbled that you're not sure where to start, try to start with a category prompt and write out as many things as you can think of:
◦ Things that you need to do
◦ Things that scare you
◦ Things that you feel angry about
◦ Things that make you sad
◦ Goals you have for today
◦ Goals you have for next week
◦ Goals you have for next year
◦ Things that bum you out
- Circle the things that encourage you.
- Put a square around the things that you need to do today.
- Cross out the thoughts that you are able to release or you don't need.
- Underline the things that you need to talk to someone about. This could include problems that you are not sure how to handle on your own, intrusive thoughts that could harm you or hurt feelings you have from a stressed relationship.
- Take a couple of minutes to mindfully think about the circled items. Be grateful for the things that encouraged you today.
- Number the square items so you know what you will do first.
- If the things that you crossed out come back to your mind, firmly (and out loud if you need to) tell them, "I can't spend time thinking about you, today is not your day."
- Figure out who you can talk to about your underlined items. If you are not sure who to turn to, call our hotline and talk to a crisis counselor.
Brain Dump Worksheet