Brain dumps are currently saving my head.

Come again?!

In her best-selling book, The Artist’s Way, author Julia Cameron writes about “morning pages,” freestyle writing about anything on your mind in the morning. She suggests 3 pages of writing first thing upon awakening.  I personally refer to these pages as “brain dumps.” Depending on my mood and what’s bouncing around in my head, I sometimes write three pages. Most often I write only one or one and a half pages. Maybe that makes me fortunate that not too much is usually stuck in my mind and needing to spill out. These days, though, I seem to be writing a lot, because there is much weighing on my mind, and putting it all on paper helps me own it, get it out of my brain, and come up with potential solutions. I grab my coffee and sit down with my notebook, writing down feelings, goals on which my clients are working, and even an occasional grocery list. Once I finish, I set my journal aside and start my day with a clearer head.

I often work with clients who, like me, can get way too deep inside their heads, and that is not a good place to be.There’s a reason many therapists encourage their patients to journal; it’s healthy to unload your thoughts on paper. I know this from plenty of experience!

Here are five reasons you should consider dumping your brain to save your head:

Brain Dumps Clear Your Mind: Yep, just like emptying your trash, think of this practice as spilling out all those thoughts that are jumbled in your head. Just get them out!

Brain Dumps Allow You to See Your Thoughts: Seeing something on paper can help you own it. Write down whatever is bugging you or taking up too much brain space!

Brain Dumps Help You Pause, Ponder, and Propose Solutions: When you write something down and commit it to paper, owning what you have written, you can sit back and reflect on it. Think about solutions to the problem or how to reframe your thoughts if your perception is a bit skewed.

Brain Dumps Inspire You to ACT! I’ve been running in place in an area of my life for a few years now. It’s a tough place, because it involves my heart. Just last week I let everything in my head come spilling out on paper. Now it’s up to me to decide how to proceed on my part, at least. Sadly, I sent a couple of my thoughts to someone in a text. Two wrong moves! It’s never good to send delicate or angry communication via text, and I acted too quickly without really digging deep and thinking about positive solutions. So, yes, act, but really pause and reflect before you do.

Brain Dumps Can Nip Anger in the Bud. I’m a native North Carolinian, and I enjoy occasional reruns of “The Andy Griffith Show.” I am quite fond of Barney Fife’s expression to “nip it in the bud.” When we are angry, doing a brain dump can help us dissect our anger and figure out where it’s coming from. Sometimes we find we are angry at ourselves. Going back to pausing and pondering, we can often probe our anger and get to the root of it. Since holding onto this emotion is an unhealthy behavior, we can engage in brain dumps to help us work through the anger, And going back to the first reason I give, sometimes we just need to get it out of our heads and our hearts. By doing so, we may be able to nip that anger in the bud.

Feeling like your head’s in a tizzy? I’ve been there countless times…COUNTLESS, and it’s not a place I like to reside. Try morning pages or “brain dumps,” and get your mind in the right place. You might even keep a notebook with you at all times, and when negative thoughts pop in your head, write them all out, pondering and reflecting.

My dear old Daddy was a prisoner of war for four years. He HAD to have his mind in the right place to survive. When I’d occasionally be a bit down, he would say to me, “Now, you need to get your mind in the right place.” Indeed, Daddy, indeed. I’m trying…

But a little brain dumping never hurt!

To learn more about Julia Cameron’s morning pages, visit


Amy Walton is a multi-certified life coach residing in coastal Virginia. Her coaching interests are Christ-centered life coaching and working with women in midlife. She’s smart but quirky and has an odd assortment of things swirling around in her brain most days. She dumps her brain ALOT. Connect with her at