Do you have a lot on your mind? Doing a braindrain can be a great exercise to help you capture all the issues and ideas so that you can deal with them in a rational manner.
What’s a Braindrain?
A braindrain is like a brainstorm, only instead of trying to come up with as many ideas as you can that relate to a focused topic, your objective is to spill out all the busy-ness in your head onto paper. It’s a useful way to get an overview of the big picture.
I have been on medical leave for almost a month now. I’ve had lots of doctor appointments and email conversations. I’ve researched topics related to asthma and better self-care. I’ve had to do a lot of resting. And I’ve learned a lot of things I don’t want to forget. So, today I did a braindrain. You can type one on your computer or phone, write it in your journal, or just spill it out on a big piece of paper.
Here’s a sampling from mine:
- If I use my emergency inhaler more than 2x per week, I need to call my allergist.
- I like my job and miss my colleagues.
- I enjoy seeing my friends’ and family’s facebook posts.
- I enjoy writing to Mom.
- Humidity is one of my big asthma triggers.
- I’ve found some great new blogs to follow.
- I love reading my Bible daily.
- I need to add more fruits and veggies into my diet especially carotenoids and leafy greens.
- I have learned how to use my planner more effectively.
- It is good to sit still.
- Dark chocolate is still good for me.
- I need to be a more faithful vacuumer and duster for my health’s sake.
- I can always remind myself my life is in God’s hands; God loves me; God is good; and God is in control. I have nothing to fear.
As you can see, I let the ideas come in random order, although thinking of one thing sometimes reminded me of other related topics.
What Will I Do With My Braindrain?
When I look over my list, I see there are things I need to remember for when I get sick. I’ll gather these on an index card and put it on my bulletin board.
There were more healthy eating suggestions on the list than I included on your abbreviated version. I want to make another index card with an “Eat These!” list on one side and a “Limit These!” list on the other to keep in my wallet. I will also make an index card for each and put them on my fridge.
I tend to over-embrace the Puritan work ethic, and I tend to get stressed. I’m going to make another list, on a blank page in my planner, of things I enjoy doing that are restful and relaxing. Then, I’m going to try to remember to look at it when I feel stressed.
I have also created a new daily item for my planner: Calming Activity.
The Braindrain: Another Great Benefit of a Literate Lifestyle
I am a person who thinks best with a pen in my hand. I love using the braindrain exercise to capture or quiet what’s on my mind. It feels really good to get everything recorded in one place.
Please use the comment box below to share your own tips for coping with having a lot on your mind. Or share a braindrain of your own. I’d love to hear from you!