Brain dumping: How this simple method helps reduce stress
Thoughts jump from one problem to another, the to-do list seems inextricably long and you also wonder what to eat. If there is chaos in the head, it causes stress. A simple method untangles the mess.
The head is full. He soon seems to explode with sheer chaos. The thought of the full laundry basket flashes, then the e-mails that still need to be answered, the important meeting, the Doodle survey that has to be filled out and when packing for the weekend trip, the contact lens solution must not be forgotten under any circumstances.
It’s something like this in our heads every day. With so many loose thoughts and unsolved tasks, many people get stressed or anxious. A simple method can help to organize the chaos in your head: brain dumping.
Clear your head
Braindumping (also brain dumping or brain-dumping) means in German something like: “empty the brain”. And that is exactly the basis of this method. The head is cleaned out in a figurative sense, because the thoughts find their way onto a piece of paper. Everything that’s on your mind at the moment is written down – whether it’s worries, deadlines or just the thought of the next week’s shopping. The principle works in a similar way to clearing out and tidying up a closet.
Brain dumping helps break down an unresolved mess into manageable pieces. This makes it easier to focus on the things that are important right now. This method can help reduce stress and also prevent anxiety. If you want to reduce your own brooding or overthinking, you only need a piece of paper, a pen and a little time.
There are different ways to use this method. If a lot of thoughts are buzzing through your head, it can help to organize your head every day. But there is nothing wrong with only using this method from time to time. The technique that suits you best should be used. Three types of brain dumping:
The simple brain dump
To start the day fresh, it can be helpful to write down all the thoughts that are circling in your head in a notebook first thing in the morning. Anything that pops into your head at that moment is allowed on the paper. There is no thought that is too unimportant. Just writing it down helps the brain clear the clutter.
Tasks, worries and to-dos are now in a different place. This technique also helps the brain recognize and categorize problems. It’s easier to relax. If you have trouble sleeping in the evening, you can try this method before you go to bed.
The four-square braindump
In this braindump, a piece of paper is divided into four squares and into the following categories: to do, thoughts, gratitude, top 3 priorities:
Throughts: In this category all random thoughts that arise find their place. Don’t think about it too much!
To do: All pending tasks are noted here.
Gratitude: As the name already explains, all things for which one is grateful should be written down here.
Top 3 Priorities: The three most important points are recorded from the to-do list.
Not only thoughts are organized, but the most important tasks are prioritized. These can be processed day by day.
The end of the week braindump
- Write all your thoughts on a list. These can be unsolved projects, worries, tasks and everything that occupies you. This list can get very long. Best made on a Thursday or Friday morning.
- Leave the list for the rest of the day or a few hours and add to it as more thoughts arise.
- Sort and prioritize the list. Best to do it the same evening. New lists can then be created, for example one with small tasks or activities and one with larger projects. These can also be broken down into smaller parts.
- Set a day when you want to tackle the small and urgent tasks. Ideally the next day so as not to put it off for too long. Or one task per day is distributed. Even for the big projects, it should be determined when you want to tackle them.
- Repeat every week.