Reduce Stress and Worry in 10 Minutes With a Brain Dump
If you're like me, your days and nights are accompanied by a murmur of worry and self-criticism running through the back of your mind - a haze of anxieties that's always there, but often not enunciated or examined too closely. Until the events of the past two years turned the volume of the murmur up to a low roar, it didn't occur to me to pay it any mind. Don't give it more power by listening to it, right? That was always my approach.
But as Caroline Dooner observes in her book, The F*ck It Diet, "We can't heal if we don't even know what the problem is!" So although I really dislike journaling, I decided to give her Brain Dump practice a shot.
It's simple: just grab a pen and paper, and start writing down all the things that anxious voice in your head is telling you. Use the "hot pen" technique - start writing and just keep going, no matter what comes out. Don't worry about what it says - you never have to read it again if you don't want to. Burn it afterwards if you like.
I know it seems like this couldn't possibly help, and the only thing that convinced me to try it was that Dooner says she hates journaling too. But guess what? It was amazing.
As I was writing, I started thinking of solutions and counterarguments to the things I was writing down. Answers to problems that I'd been semi-consciously stressing about for months suddenly appeared, as if they'd been right in front of me all along. Ridiculous self criticism that was clearly based on nothing revealed itself for the B.S. that it was. I'm not saying the Brain Dump solved all my problems, but it solved a few, and it was well worth the ten minutes I spent on it.
Am I going to incorporate the Brain Dump into my morning routine every day going forward? Probably not. But I have another tool in my toolbox that I can pull out whenever I'm feeling down or overwhelmed, and I've got ten minutes to spare.
I hope you'll give it a try! Let me know how it goes in the comments below.
Debra Purdy is the owner of ShopEco, a beauty and self care boutique located in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Her mission is to help you thrive through self care you can feel good about. For more self care tips delivered to your inbox and a special birthday treat, click here to subscribe.