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Embrace | Overcome | Create Your Life 

  • Writer's pictureTerri K. Lankford, LPCS

Brain-Dumping and Journaling: a Perfect Pair

Last time, we talked about brain-dumping. In case you forgot what it was, here’s a refresher for you:

Brain-dumping involves taking all of those racing thoughts in your mind - things to do, worries, anxious thoughts, and self-doubt - and writing it on a page (or dumping it). This can be done before anxious thoughts arrive, in the moment of the panic, or afterwards as a way to reflect and destress yourself.”

This time, we’ll be talking about the perfect partner for brain-dumping: journaling!

If you recall, some benefits of brain-dumping was relieving stress, providing a sense of calm, and increased self-reflection. Journaling just so happens to have some very similar benefits!

For example, journaling helps folx gain clarity on their feelings, thoughts, and experiences, helping them make sense of their emotions and situations. Journaling serves as a safe space for self-expression, allowing individuals to unload stress, anxiety, and worries, leading to reduced emotional tension. Additionally, the practice of journaling encourages self-reflection, which promotes self-awareness, enabling individuals to identify patterns, set goals, and track progress over time. This process can lead to improved problem-solving skills and a deeper understanding of one's values and aspirations.

Since journaling and brain-dumping make a great team, how can you incorporate the two? We’re glad you asked! Check out twelve journal prompts to help you have a healing brain-dumping session below. ***Keep reading for a discount code for your very own Rise and Thrive journal at the end!

  1. What's been occupying my thoughts lately, both positive and negative?

  2. List five things that bring you joy or make you feel genuinely happy.

  3. What's been on your mind that you haven't yet discussed with anyone? Write it down, then envision mailing the letter to someone who will validate and see you.

  4. Write 15 words that sum up your outlook on a personal goal you're working towards.

  5. Describe in one paragraph or one scattering of words the last book, movie, or piece of art that deeply resonated with you and why.

  6. Write a few sentences or a handful of words that make you feel physically relaxed when you look at or think of them.

  7. Release any words or sentences that feel they have a hold on you. Perform a physical action, like burning the paper, to really get that sense of release.

  8. Jot down any regrets or mistakes that linger, crumple the paper, and throw it away, symbolizing your readiness to move on.

  9. Write down resentments, then soak the paper in water and watch the ink blur away, symbolizing forgiveness and release.

  10. Record uncertainties, bury the paper in soil, and plant a seed as a metaphor for embracing growth amid unknowns. (Or simply imagine this, if gardening isn’t your jam)

  11. Put your unshared appreciation into words, envision mailing it to the person who deserves to know how much they mean to you.

  12. In the shape of something that flies (birds, balloons, lanterns, plane, kite, etc), write about a worry or anxiety you want to drift away.

Don't have anywhere to journal your thoughts? You're in luck! We've partnered with Rewild Art Co to bring you the first Rise and Thrive Journal. Use the code RISETHRIVE at checkout to get 15% off!

We hope this blog post helped inspire you to combine brain-dumping and journaling in these cathartic exercises! If you want more holistic help, look no further than Rise and Thrive Counseling. Our holistic counselors can help address all areas of life - especially emotional wellness. Reach out today to learn more. We look forward to hearing from you!




Welcome to Embrace | Overcome | Create Your Life.


I’m Terri Kiser Lankford, owner of the Rise & Thrive Counseling Practice, a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor (in NC), and the host here at Rise & Thrive Counseling, PLLC and the Embrace| Overcome|CreateYourLife Blog.


I’m also an entrepreneur, Syltherin, foodie on a fitness journey, complete book nerd, photography novice who happens to think music is life. 


Warning! This site is about motivation, health & wellness, and self love.  but its also about various mental health issues and may talk about subjects such as suicide, self-harm and other touchy subjects at some point. This site is not intended for youth and may be “too much” to some.


Nothing on this site should be considered a medical recommendation. I am not a doctor. Anything of interest should be discussed with your doctor or therapist, or me (in person) if you are my current client.  No guarantee of accuracy is expressed or implied. (Sorry, I have to say that.)


All writing and mental health information here are accurate to the best of my knowledge at the time of publication. However, keep in mind my opinion, and available information, changes over time.

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