Dumping the contents of your mind onto the page helps make space. Space leads to calm. Calm nudges stress the out.
One of the tools Linda sometimes uses at our workshops is the Brain Dump. This is where you write (or draw) everything that’s on your mind down onto a sheet of paper. And why would you do that? Well, it turns out it’s exhausting and stressful juggling all your thoughts inside your head. By thoughts I mean all the things you need to do. (By the way, doing this will leave space for more interesting thoughts and day dreams!)
Here’s how you do a Brain Dump:
1. Find a quiet space (yes the toilet is a fine choice) bring paper and pen and something to lean on.
2. Start writing (or if you prefer, drawing) all the things you need to do, a new line for each one.
3. Don’t worry if they’re all small things that you’ll never forget, this list isn’t about remembering or forgetting, it’s about clearing space.
4. Keep going until everything’s gone or you’ve run out of time.
5. You can add to this list whenever you want… and you can delete things off this list as they are done. Or… you can forget about it completely and just do the next thing you need to do as it comes up in your space-filled mind.
At our workshops people say they are surprised by the huge amount of things on their list. These things have been clogging up their heads. They also say how much the Brain Dump helps them to focus on what they are doing, it seems to quieten the voice inside that nags them about all the other things they should be doing. You can hear a kind of group sigh of relief in the room when the pages start to fill up.
By the way, I’ve just read book called The Mindbody Prescription by Dr. John Sarno. It’s mainly about chronic pain but there’s a bit that reminds me of the Brain Dump, for relieving pain. You make a list of all the pressures in your life. Everything! Be as childish as you can. For example, no one helps me tidy up! Seemingly a lot of our chronic pain is directly connected to the amount of pressure in our lives and noticing it seems to be a big step towards lessening it.
Will you try this? If you do, please let us know how you get on.