Is Mom Brain a real thing?
It may seem so, considering that ever since you birthed your little one, your brain has been an absolute mess.
I’ll tell you a quick story:
One day my daughter came downstairs with my contact case. I opened it and found that my contacts were not inside.
Panicking, I ran her upstairs and checked her eyes, her clothes, the sink, the toilet, and the entire floor looking for these contacts.
Guess where they were?
Yup. They were in my eyes.
(It’s important to note that without my contacts or glasses I am very, very, very blind.)
If you have never done something like look for your bra while you are wearing it or your cell phone while talking on it, then you are a magical unicorn that has escaped the madness of Mom Brain.
But for most of us, we have it, and it’s actually a recognized psychological event.
When you take Mom Brain and combine it with the insurmountable stress of being a mother, you are left with a mind that feels as scattered as a Jackson Pollack painting.
How do you overcome this? Are you destined to feel trapped in a chaotic mind for the rest of your days?
This is where brain dumping comes in and, if done on a regular basis, can help you to clear your mind, reduce your stress and focus on the important things in your life.
What is Mom Brain?
As I said, Mom Brain is a recognized psychological condition.
Studies have shown that our brains are affected by having kids – they physically change to promote a sense of caring for our children by making us more sensitive to our baby’s needs.
Surprisingly, it is not inherently connected to the physical process of carrying and delivering a baby. It’s been shown that men can develop Mom Brain as well.
Because our brains are rewired to love and nurture our children, we end up experiencing negative side effects such as heightened emotions and memory interference.
But even though our brains may never return to their pre-baby state, we can work with our new brains and overcome those pesky effects.
Brain dumping is one such way that we can do so.
What is Brain Dumping?
Brain dumping is pretty much exactly how it sounds: You take everything in your brain and you dump it onto a piece of paper.
It helps to lay out those abstract and confusing thoughts rolling inside your mind and makes them concretes and absolutes. Basically, you are bringing your chaotic thoughts into reality which makes them easier to deal with.
Once your thoughts are written out, you can begin looking for patterns or piece together your thoughts to find a solution to a particular situation.
We as mothers support a huge mental load all on our own. If we let all of our stresses, worries, concerns, and confusion build up inside our minds, we will feel crazy and lost.
Brain dumping can help alleviate all of that.
How to Brain Dump
1. Get a Blank Journal
Grab a cute journal. If you have something visually pleasing and personable to write in, you’ll find yourself more motivated to do so.
It doesn’t have to be fancy and anything blank is perfect.
You don’t want those journals that ask questions to encourage self-reflection. You just need one on which to spew your word vomit.
2. Choose Your Method of Dumping
There are three ways in which you can brain dump, depending on why you are dumping and what is cluttering your mind at that moment.
- Make a to-do list. If you are feeling overwhelmed by life, write out everything that needs to be done (whether you really want to do it or not).
- Stream of consciousness. This is when you write out every single thought that pops into your brain as you think it. It may make no sense and the points you make may be completely unrelated.
- Write out an issue. Take an issue that is causing you stress and confusion and write it out – including what is happening and how you feel about it.
Remember that you don’t have to stick to one method of dumping. You may start making a to-do list but find yourself writing about how you feel toward the tasks that need to be done.
Just let the words flow.
3. Figure Out Your Next Step
Once you finish writing everything out, you can choose to address it or simply walk away from it.
You may want to read over what you have written to identify any underlying stressors in your life or to analyze the content for a pattern. You can also use the information in your brain dump to create a plan for tackling your issues and reducing your stress.
Alternatively, you can just close the book and walk away. Sometimes all you need is to get your thoughts on paper to relieve the weight on your mind.
The Benefits of Brain Dumping
Brain dumping is an effective exercise in calming overwhelm.
You know how just talking something out with a friend makes the situation seem less dire? Brain dumping allows you to do that if your friend is not available or you are not comfortable speaking about your thoughts.
When you use brain dumping to write out a to-do list, you are creating peace of mind for yourself. Sometimes just seeing what needs to be done instead of running around like a chicken with its head cut off is as relieving as actually getting it done.
Brain dumping also gives you an opportunity to work through your emotions and reveal what is really bothering you. Maybe you’re writing about how frustrating it is that your partner doesn’t help with the supper dishes but, as you write, you realize the true issue is that you feel unsupported.
If you choose to walk away from what you have written, you are creating space in your mind to let go of things.
I had a terrible falling out with a group of friends a couple of years ago. I thought maybe I was holding onto residual feelings from that.
After I wrote it all out, I realized that it didn’t bother me nearly as much as I thought it did. I was able to let a lot of it go.
Ultimately, brain dumping helps to clear your mind so you can live with more intention. When you’re not focused on the worrisome and stressful thoughts that roll around in your head, you can turn your attention to more important aspects of your life.
Give Your Brain a Dump
Declutter your stressed and overwhelmed Mom Brain by dumping your thoughts into a journal.
Try it every day if you can, finding a time of day that works best for you.
If you can’t, even dumping once a week or when you feel particularly crazy is beneficial.
Once you do dump, you can then organize your tasks, pinpoint any underlying stressors and make a plan to get your mind back on track.
Or, you can dump and walk away.
Do you think a good brain dump could help you clear your mind and feel less like a crazy person? Leave me a comment and let me know!