Brain Dump Journalling

I came across an interesting article a few months ago that got caught in the cracks, but I am bringing it out now. I have been writing a journal for 40 years now, but I still have lessons to learn about this worthwhile activity. Before I read the article I didn’t realize, or at least think, that some people had different techniques of making journal entries. Some are focused on a single topic, some use only one way to enter their thoughts. Brain dumping is my way.

I think I get that from Will Rogers and his daily newspaper articles. They covered a myriad of things. They were just what he was thinking on the day he wrote them. I usually have at least a dozen drafts in my WordPress queue, ready to be published. Finishing those drafts is often a two-week process. But, the beginning of almost all those posts is a brain dump.

Brain Dump Journaling, according to the article I read is “writing down your thoughts without limitations can help organize your thoughts, narrow your feelings, and recognize trends in your thinking” Some day I may be brave enough to show you my work desks and walls. They, and much of my computer, are literally covered with one or two sentence notes about a potential post. My brain runs at a hundred-miles-an- hour, thinking about more topics than I can even define.

Getting back to the main topic of this post, I love one of the final sentences of the source article. Click HERE to see the whole article.

Journaling is a great way to cope with feelings of anxiety and depression by promoting clarity, reflection, and positive self-talk. Not only does writing provide a personal record of your life, but it can bring potentially harmful thought patterns into the light. If you find that your journaling centers upon a particular goal or anxiety, investigate it. Pursue it. You could learn something new about yourself.

3 thoughts on “Brain Dump Journalling

  1. I don’t always journal, but when I do, I favor the brain-dump type, too. Where I’m sitting now, I can put my hand on two years of entries made following my bilateral mastectomies and reconstruction. I had been diagnosed at 40 with the premenopausal, dominant gene breast cancer that hits Mom’s family. Mom died at 45 of that cancer. While that two-year-period was a time of sorrow, it was also a time of reassessing what I wanted out of life. I’m trying to decide what to do with them. Although it’s going to hurt, I think I’m going to have to shred those pages. I had ten- and fifteen-year-old daughters at the time. The ten-year-old’s fear that I was going to die as my mother had resulted in some predictable behavioral issues. Many of us moms in my cancer counseling group experienced anger directed toward us by children who were fearful and, rationally or not, felt we were deserting them. On the one hand, she would read how much I wanted to help, how my heart went out to her, how I battled guilt that she was dealing with such issues, but I also put limits on what behaviors I would allow. She remembers that time completely differently and has a right to interpret it for herself to tell her own story the way she believes it to be true.


    1. Thanks for your story, Linda. We all have unique battles in life, don’t we? Since your mother died at a young age, I’m pretty sure you have had your periods of grief. After my wife passed away ten months ago, I have looked at our relationship for a somewhat different angle. There was so much that we didn’t share with each other, but would have helped if we had. I didn’t know until near the end just how much anxiety she kept pinned it. She was on some serious meds because of it but never let me know. If only I had known I would have had a better understanding of where she was coming from.

      She was never much of a writer, so she kept everything internalized. Since we had no children, I am certainly not one to give advice, but I think maybe your kids would understand more because they were able to read your journal. Yes, there are some things that I write that are very private, but if someone reads those words after I am gone, I won’t be around to be embarrassed.


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