Many people come to counselling because they have so many thoughts in their head they can’t think straight. When they arrive they find themselves unable to stop talking and often what they are trying to say is fragmented, they start with one thought and can only take it so far before they are distracted by another. I like to call this a brain dump!
A brain dump is when everything inside your head comes out. Often it makes no sense, often it is in lists, often it is single words. All of which is okay. Working with a counsellor can help you explore and untangle these thoughts. Having someone with you as everything comes pouring out helps to contain all the emotions that go with the thoughts. However this is something you can start or even complete at home if you are worried about trying to talk to someone.
Below are some ideas on how you can complete a Brain Dump. This is just a guide and I would suggest you find the best way for you.
Write, draw, list everything that is in your head. Attached is a basic template which I use and I can be printed for your own use. However, this does not need to be done on paper. You could use the notes function on your phone or a word document on you computer. The idea is to get everything out, so don’t worry if you write a word, a sentence or a whole paragraph. It might look something like this –
Start bringing some order. Look back over everything you have wrote, could you put things into different categories? Category ideas – Past, Present, Future Urgent and Important, Not urgent but important, Not urgent and not important. Home, Work, Social Remember, Forget Positive, Negative, Neutral
Delete, Delete, Delete. Is there anything on the organised lists which you can delete. Ask yourself questions such as, is this my responsibility or does it belong to someone else? If this is not important can I leave it to another time?
Add dates and time frames. If your list includes things which you must do add a date or a time frame for when it needs to be completed. This will help you prioritise and bring order.
This is great to help you organise and prioritise everything inside your head. Although it is aimed at helping when you feel like you have 101 things to do it can help in many aspects of your life. If you are worried about something, brain dump and then take time to break down each thought, ask yourself is this based on fact? Can I change this? Am I looking at the whole picture? A brain dump can be whatever you need it to be!