Brain Dump: Does This Mental Decluttering Technique Truly Work?

Last Update on July 18, 2023 : Published on July 4, 2023
brain dump

Having a cluttered mind is something that we’re all familiar with, right? I mean, when there’s too much happening around us, how can we keep our minds from information or even sensory overload? With too many stimuli, it’s only a matter of time before our minds will be in chaos and an eternal state of stress.

Now, you may wonder, “What can be done to declutter our minds?” Well, I came across this powerful mental decluttering technique known as “brain dump” or brain dumping. I know, the term sounds silly, right? But, trust me – even though it sounds silly, the actual technique is far from that.

Brain dumping technique is believed to alleviate stress, anxiety, and chronic worrying – just like any therapeutic journaling technique. That’s what we’re exploring in this article too! Keep reading to know what is a brain dump, how it benefits us, and how you can try it for yourself!

What is a Brain Dump?

A brain dump is essentially a mental decluttering technique that involves transferring your thoughts, ideas, emotions, feelings, to-do lists, or any information that pops up in your mind to a journal. It’s a type of freestyle writing exercise where you transfer anything and everything to a journal without thinking about what you’re writing.

Now, this can include any anxious thoughts or anxiety you feel, any planning you’d like to do, or any decisions you need to make. The whole idea of brain dumping is to dump the mental clutter into a journal to make some space in your mind so that you don’t fall into an information overload.

Are There Any Benefits of Brain Dump?

Yes! This Brain dump is a technique that works. While there haven’t been extensive studies on the topic, it is believed that brain dumping can have the following benefits on your overall well-being;

1. It provides mental clarity by pouring your thoughts – errant, irrelevant, or otherwise – into a journal. Doing this can help clear your mind and give you more time to focus on problem-solving, decision-making, and focused thinking.

2. It helps reduce stress and unburdens your mind. When you’re not burdened with too much information, then you have more time to approach your tasks with a calmer and clear mind. This can reduce mental weight and reduce unnecessary stress.

3. Brain dump helps you organize your thoughts and prioritize them accordingly. When you can properly categorize your thoughts and structure the information you receive, you gain a clear understanding of what’s to be done.

4. It also allows you to increase your productivity. When you have your thoughts and ideas organized, you can increase your workflow and productivity. You can easily set times for each task and tackle them as needed.

5. Brain dump promotes creative thinking . This technique can provide you space to be more creative with your ideas and thoughts. By bringing these thoughts to the paper, you create room for new ideas, encouraging out-of-the-box thinking and imagination.

6. It also helps you feel less overwhelmed mentally as this technique essentially empties your mind of all the mindless clutter. When you don’t have errant thoughts circling your mind, you feel less overwhelmed and burdened mentally and increase your focus and efficiency.

Fun facts! Did you know that in a recent review, it was found that people who journaled regularly showed better mental health improvement than those who didn’t? Writing before bed has also shown benefits, especially brain dump. In a 2019 study, it was found that practicing brain dump before sleep had a better impact on sleep quality.

The Types of Brain Dumps

A brain dump is a type of therapeutic writing where you write down your thoughts and emotions as they are to let go of the mental clutter. Writing for therapy is good for you if you constantly deal with overwhelming emotions and thoughts and are prone to get stuck in your mind. Releasing errant and anxious thoughts can be healing and reduce the intensity of intrusive and unwanted thoughts.

brain dump template example

Now, you might be wondering about the types of brain dumps. Well, let me tell you that there are various forms of brain dumps that you can engage in. Here are the most common ones;

1. Morning Brain Dump:

As the term might suggest, this is the brain dump you take in the morning! It’s a great way to improve your productivity and focus. Releasing the thoughts first thing in the morning can help you focus on your day ahead and what you need to accomplish rather than worrying about what you can’t control.

In this type of brain dump, you can dump everything from your to-do lists to your thoughts and from ideas you have to worries lingering in your mind.

2. Review Brain Dump:

This is the brain dump you engage in when you learn something new and need a way to help you recall the information. Here you can jot down a quick note after class or a meeting. This will help you remember the important information from the lesson or meeting and help your brain categorize the new information.

3. Gratitude Brain Dump:

Another type of brain dump that you can engage in is a gratitude brain dump. This is similar to gratitude journaling, so you can set 10 minutes of your day aside to document gratitude and whatever comes to your mind about gratitude. In this duration, write anything and everything you are grateful for and let yourself expand on the details if you wish.

4. Creative Brain Dump:

Now, this is where you let your imagination flow and creativity shine. Write down whatever weird or thoughtful ideas that come to mind and be frank! You can use this space for jotting personal or work ideas, brainstorming with yourself, or even recording whatever’s on your mind. It’s your space to be creative, so go off!

How to Practice Brain Dump?

If you’ve liked the idea of brain dumping so far, then it’s time to take a look at how you can start this technique of brain dump for anxiety, stress, and worries;

1. Choose your medium: The first thing you need to do is pick the medium that suits you best aka notebook, phone, laptop, or a journal. This will be your dedicated space to brain dump and you’ll always have a blank canvas of kind to record your thoughts and document your feelings.

2. Set aside time: Next, you need to allocate time to engage in your brain dumping. You can start at 10 minutes and then slowly make your way forward or you can pick the best time frame that suits your routine the best. The key is to find a quiet space and distraction-free space to sit and write freely.

3. Write your mind: When you sit down to write, make sure you don’t filter any thought, idea, emotion, or concern that comes to your mind. The whole idea of the brain dump technique is to transfer whatever comes to your mind onto your selected medium. Just write as the words flow and don’t mind the grammar. Just trust the process!

4. Organize: After you’re done brain-dumping, you need to review the content and begin organizing your words. You can try grouping similar thoughts and ideas into one category, figure out what tasks and ideas need to be addressed immediately, or notice any pattern that comes out of your musings.

Sounds fun, right? Go on, give it a try!


The Brain Dump technique is one of the most powerful techniques for mental decluttering that you can engage in. Not only does this technique help you clear your mind and organize your thoughts but can also help enhance your overall well-being by reducing worries and anxiety. Brain dump for anxiety, stress, and worries is an exercise that you should give a try at least once.

Adding this technique to your routine can help you organize your errant thoughts and anxiety into something that makes sense. It also allows your mind to take control of your thoughts instead of letting your thoughts control your mind.

If you’re still struggling with organizing your thoughts and clearing your mental clutter, then don’t hesitate to connect with a professional counselor.


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If you enjoy the brain dump technique as a way to reduce anxiety, stress, and overwhelming emotions, then do let me know in the comments below. You can also share your thoughts with us at

Take Care!

About The Author

Swarnakshi Sharma
Swarnakshi Sharma

Swarnakshi is a content writer at Calm sage, who believes in a healthier lifestyle for mind and body. A fighter and survivor of depression, she strives to reach and help spread awareness on ending the stigma surrounding mental health issues. A spiritual person at heart, she believes in destiny and the power of Self. She is an avid reader and writer and likes to spend her free time baking and learning about world cultures.

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