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Brain Dump

Brain Dump

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Brain Dump infographic
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Description

The brain dump is a way to release stress and excess information in your mind. It is a quick technique that uses writing and may help counteract the disadvantages of having a busy life with little free time.

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Possible Benefits

  • May decrease stress
  • May improve focus 
  • May boost your productivity
  • May improve mood
  • May reduce anxiety 
  • May decrease muscular tension 
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Required Equipment

Paper and pencil. You can get a journal to do this regularly.

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How to Do It

You can practice this habit in two basic ways:

  1. List and prioritize your short-term tasks. When you feel overwhelmed by your tasks, take paper and pencil and write down your most important and urgent tasks you have. Then prioritize them and create a quick schedule to start completing them.
  2. Release tension and information overload. When you feel stressed, take a pencil and paper and write down EVERYTHING you are thinking and feeling. It doesn't matter if it's just a few ideas. This will refresh your brain.
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Why it works

  • According to a study by the University of Minnesota, it takes about 23 minutes to restore focus after a distraction. By releasing the excess information in your mind, focus is much more effective.
  • The mind has limited resources. When there is too much information, the level of stress and anxiety increases. This negatively affects productivity.
  • When anxiety is sustained, it generates physiological changes such as muscle tension, increased heart rate and temperature changes. If you manage to prioritize your tasks and/or decrease the level of information in your mind, these changes in the body are diminished.
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Time Commitment

5-15 minutes 

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Suggested Frequency

Whenever you feel stressed and anxious 

At least twice a week

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Time of Day

Any

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Possible Side Effects

None known.

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Tips

  • Do this until you feel there is nothing more to write about.
  • Do it anytime, anywhere. 
  • You can condition your mind to avoid information overload. 
  • Be as descriptive as possible when you write down what you feel and think. 
  • Use a journal to keep track and see if there is a pattern to what you are stressed about. 
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Supporting Studies and Articles

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  1. Why is it so hard to do my work? The challenge of attention residue when switching between work tasks. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0749597809000399 
  2. How To Declutter Your Mind: 10 Practical Tips You'll Actually Want To Try. https://www.forbes.com/sites/nomanazish/2017/11/19/how-to-declutter-your-mind-10-practical-tips-youll-actually-want-to-try/#620aaf6424f1
  3. Restoring Attention Networks. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6430178/ 
  4. How Concentration Shields Against Distraction. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4536538/ 
  5. Effects of distraction on memory and cognition: a commentary. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4114291/ 
  6. (Indoor) isolation, stress and physical inactivity: vicious circles accelerated by Covid‐19? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7267366/ 
  7. Relaxation Techniques. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK513238/ 
  8. Declutter Your Mind: How to Stop Worrying, Relieve Anxiety, and Eliminate Negative Thinking. https://www.amazon.com/-/es/S-J-Scott-ebook/dp/B01KU04K5A
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Category

 Mood  Stress  Productivity  Focus  Memory  Motivation
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