The results of our mini brain dump study are here and we have analyzed them to prove our initial hypotheses:
- Brain dumps help detangle the mind
- Brain dumps help you feel more in control of the day ahead
- Doing brain dumps everyday is better than doing them less frequently
Let me explain how we came to these conclusions.
We ended up with 14 participants who submitted reliable/complete data. 7 were in Group 1, who were asked to do a brain dump for 6 days in a row, and 7 were in Group 2, who did a brain dump once a week for 6 weeks.
In May of 2022, we invited and selected Canadian participants who identified as female and were between the ages of 25 and 55 to contribute to the mini study.
All participants followed instructions on how to complete a brain dump at home, and completed an online form during each brain dump to answer a few questions. We gathered all the answers and here’s what we found.
Length of brain dumps
- The average length of a brain dump was 8.5 minutes. They ranged from 2-45 minutes.
- Group 1 (daily) brain dumps were shorter than group 2 (weekly) brain dumps, maybe because doing them everyday meant that there was less on the participants’ mind. In other words, more clutter accumulated in the mind when brain dumps were spread out weekly.
Hypothesis 1 – Mental Entanglement
Before brain dump question: How mentally tangled do you feel? (1 = not tangled at all, 10 = extremely tangled)
After brain dump question: How mentally tangled do you feel now after the brain dump?
- In all scenarios, participants felt less tangled in the mind after doing a brain dump
- After doing 6 brain dumps (whether daily or weekly), everyone was in a better place mentally before doing their final brain dump, and afterwards.
Hypothesis 2 – Feeling in control
Before brain dump question: How in control do you feel of your day ahead? (1 = not in control at all, 10 = extremely in control)
After brain dump question: How in control do you feel of your day ahead now?
- In all scenarios, participants felt more in control of their day after doing a brain dump
Hypothesis 3 – Daily brain dumps are more helpful than weekly
- When it comes to mental entanglement, Group 1 (daily) was generally feeling much better after each brain dump than Group 2 (weekly). So, doing brain dumps on a daily basis was more helpful than doing them once weekly.
- When looking at how in control they felt of their day over 6 exercises, only Group 1 (daily) had a positive trend line. It appears that doing brain dumps on a daily basis had a positive cumulative effect, whereas doing them weekly did not show a positive cumulative effect.
- In addition, every participant in Group 2 (weekly) said they felt the urge to do a brain dump before their next scheduled weekly brain dump.
- Asked whether participants will continue to do brain dumps after the study, not one single person said no. 75% said yes, and 25% said maybe.
- Participants also provided qualitative feedback at the end of the study. Here are just a few comments on the benefits they experienced:
“I was surprised at how 'unloaded/free' I felt after each brain dump. It was like a little therapy session on paper each day.” – Katie B.
“I noticed a reduction in anxiety, as well as an ability to relax in down time because I knew things were okay…Overall this was highly supportive of my mental health, planning, and self discovery.” – Amanda M.
“After the brain dump, I always felt a weight off because it felt as if there is less for me to remember.” – Jessica Z.
“Getting the thoughts onto paper seemed to clear my head a bit and help me focus on ways to take action. I was able to go from stressing about certain situations to making plans with concrete steps.” – Shelley J.
In conclusion, doing brain dumps is a great exercise to help declutter the mind and help you feel better mentally. The frequency is totally up to you, but perhaps like all other forms of self care and exercise, a little bit of time and commitment is required. Based on what we saw in our mini study, positive results are to be expected if you invest time to do this for yourself.
I want to end this article by giving my sincerest thanks to everyone who participated. The insights we gained from doing this mini study are helpful, and I will be able to create more content to share with our readers.
Please note that I am not a professional researcher, and so the conclusions made in this study are only my opinion, based on my interpretation of the results. However, I believe that my approach and analysis were careful, and I hope that the findings will encourage readers to try brain dump exercises.