Updated: Aug 19
I know this concept may sound weird, but I promise you will emotionally feel ten pounds lighter after your first brain dump. I’m sure some of you are wondering how this is any different from journaling. Brain dumping does derive from journaling as that essentially is what it is but make no mistake it is not limited to only journaling.
A brain dump can be written on a single piece of paper, a napkin, the notes app in your phone, on pages or Microsoft word on your computer, google docs on the internet. Hell, I have even seen a brain dump (or thirty) on the walls of public bathroom stalls. When you have to go, you have to go. If your body naturally rids itself of toxic waste, wouldn’t it make sense for your brain to do the same? Your mind is still consuming material, just like your mouth.
When you express your feelings, you are learning to understand yourself better. We are feeling humans who think, not thinking humans who feel according to Jill Bolt Taylor, Ph.D., and New York Times best-selling author of My Stroke of Insight. I am currently reading Whole Brain Living by Jill where she elaborates on this piece of comforting knowledge. I’ll say it one more time, we are feeling humans who think, not thinking humans who feel. That being said, stop beating yourself up over feeling.
Feeling is natural and it is a part of the divine human experience that we are so blessed to experience. So don’t fight it. Allow it to navigate you through life and the many different experiences that are all simply apart of living.
From my own personal experience, I often don’t have the best grasp on my feelings entirely given the situation at hand until after I have brain dumped. I am reassured with a colossal amount of clarity after getting it all out. I can finally see the bigger picture.
When my father unexpectedly passed away my family and I were grieving heavily. A family friend of ours who owns a holistic practice where she offers life coaching gave us a piece of advice I will never forget. She said, “It is physically impossible to ever feel the exact same way twice.”
It was holding onto this knowledge in my darker moments that sometimes got me through the day. I remembered I would tell myself, “I know it’s bad right now, but if you can just make it to tomorrow you will feel at least a little better than you do today. Just hang on, just one more day..” Although it really felt like I was hanging on by a thread, and at any moment I would completely unravel- I didn’t because I held onto hope. This way of thinking is actually congruent to the book Ed Mylett just wrote, The Power of One More: The Ultimate Guide to Happiness and Success. I love Ed’s podcasts, but I still need to read his book!
Upon realizing and being comforted by the fact that we only feel things that exact way once in a lifetime, it began to scare me equally as much as calmed me. I became protective over these feelings of grief as they were a part of me, and I felt that not being able to be back in that exact same headspace twice would rob me of vigor and inspiration to create. Sometimes the creation that fills us with the most light was born of darkness. To me my feelings and emotions were as good as gone if I didn’t start writing them down. Brain dumping has now entered the group chat.
The beauty with this helpful mental health tool is in the time. After you let it all out you may immediately feel an abundance of lucidity, or it may take time. The instances where it takes time to understand are personally my favorite. for example, you break up with someone right? Obviously, that is never easy because more often than not when you break up with someone it’s for a reason, not because you outright don’t love them anymore. That’s what makes it so hard is because you do still love them, but you can’t move forward because somewhere down the line things have become fundamentality tainted.
So, you make your decision to end things, but down the road you find yourself lonely at night wondering why again you decided to end things. Wondering if you were true in your decision, or if you acted too soon? Did you act without really thinking things through? Well, if you had brain dump entries to reference back to, you wouldn’t be this confused or lonely. This would more than help you understand the headspace you were in upon making the decision to end things. You would get to experience those emotions for a second time without living them. Isn’t that last sentence something? Brain dumping is truly profound.
The next time you are feeling overwhelmed, or on the brink of a breakdown I challenge you to a brain dump. Let it all out, and notice how ridding your body of the heaviness helps make room for the light to come in. It’s not good to hold onto things. Harboring negativity in your body for long periods of time can cause stress, which can lead to illness.
Sometimes it’s therapeutic to even light your brain dump on fire and watch it disintegrate into the air. Whether you decide to hold onto it somewhere safe to reference back to or discard of it all together after getting it out, I encourage you to just get it out somehow someway. Get it the fuck out of your body! Turn your mess into message. That’s all it takes to feel lighter is just getting it out. What you decide to do with it once it’s out is just a bonus. Future clarity at a time of confusion is a bonus. Having a cleansing ritual where you light your brain dump on fire to reap in spiritual/mental benefit is a bonus. Brain dumping about something positive in your life is also a bonus! So, will you take a big fat brain dump today?
Artwork by Camryn Sturtz, follow @camryn.sturtz on IG to contact.