Brain Dump 101

Does your mind bounce between things you have to do, and things you "think" you should be doing? And, let me guess you're a bit overwhelmed with hundreds of new ideas, but no time to implement any them all? Ugh. Meeeee too.

The thing is, our brains aren't wired to hold onto multiple strings of information at one time. It's like your internet browser with 30 different tabs open… (and I am totally guilty of having a lot of tabs open.) You can't concentrate, because you're constantly flitting from tab to tab, never accomplishing anything of true significance.

A way to untangle your mind is through "Brain Dump."  What? A brain dump is exactly what it sounds like—an opportunity to get everything out of your brain and onto paper. The header you need to create, blog pages you need to revise, grocery list, scheduling an appointment... all those random thoughts that create mental clutter. You not only create room in your head but you process and organize exactly what you need to do moving forward.

Brain-dumping is merely creating a list of unconnected thoughts on a page. I tend to do this every single morning. A million miles a minute is exactly how my brain works too, and I'm sure you can relate to this as well. The process is simple. I like to make a list of bullet points, then write an idea/thought or sentence next to each one. If I have more to say regarding a specific bullet, I keep writing. If I have something to add a little later down the page, I will draw an arrow back to the original thought.

I've discovered that this has helped me with staying productive and getting things done -- once you’ve emptied your brain of this extra mind clutter, you make room for new ideas and thoughts to take root.  If you're the type of person that has more thoughts entering your mind in the evening, I suggest brain dumping at night, and revisiting it in the morning. 

Do you practice brain dumping? What other productivity tips work for you? Share with me here - @valeriefidan!

Practicing Gratitude

Each one of us is in the pursuit of happiness. We aren’t on Earth just to exist. We want a full life. We want to make the most of our days. For many of us, happiness is a mercurial and elusive concept. But it's not. Boost your happiness by practicing gratitude daily.


Studies suggest that writing in a gratitude journal three times a week might actually have a greater impact on our happiness than journaling.

Practicing gratitude is something that I’ve made a personal goal of this past year. Since keeping a gratitude journal, I've noticed that it's helped me be more appreciative, more aware, and more observant. It's helped me feel more grounded and much happier. 

Instead of focusing on the things that I don't have or haven't experienced, keeping a gratitude journal helps me focus on the things that I do have and experiences I've had.

Ready to start a gratitude journal? Here are some of my tips for getting started:

Pick a journal. You could choose one small enough to slip in your purse or a bigger one to keep on your nightstand.

Keep tabs on the happy moments. When something good happens to you, take a moment to write it down. How did it make you feel? By jotting down the good, happy moments, you're making it a habit to focus on the positive instead of dwelling on the negative.

Set an intention. Before you start your day, take a moment to set an intention for the day. It can be something that you are grateful for or an affirmation for the day. Don't know where to start? When I first started journaling I used to take the daily quote from my yogi tea. It helped a lot! As I got the hang of things, my daily affirmation and intentions just started to come naturally. 

Nightly gratitude. Before you go to bed at night, take time to capture your favorite moment of the day. What made you smile today? This will help you to appreciate things in your life. You’ll be amazed how much you were missing when you do. 

Ask yourself this... What are you grateful for today? What is one thing that made you smile today? Let me know in the comments on Instagram! Find me on Instagramtwitter and facebook