The simple habit that makes more space in your brain

Do you ever feel like you need more space in your brain?

After all the work meetings, family party hosting, news reading, name remembering, house cleaning, (and the zillion or so other demands you put on yourself regularly), your brain is just zapped. Heck, it’s hard to formulate a sentence, let alone function as a productive person.

The fact is… you, me and pretty much everyone else around us put far too much pressure on our brains. And that can lead to burnout, exhaustion, depression and even break downs.

But here’s the thing… the demands of day-to-day life aren’t going away any time soon. So is it possible to take some pressure off your poor little noggin while still getting everything done?

It is. In fact, a study discovered a surprisingly simple way to do exactly that…

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Writing about your worries makes your brain more efficient

Researchers from Michigan State University uncovered a way to take some pressure off your brain, so it works better — write.

But not any old writing will do. Opening up that half-finished novel buried in a five-year-old folder on your computer won’t make your brain less stressed and more efficient. You have to journal about your stresses, anxiety, and worries.

In the study, researchers made a few important discoveries. First, chronic worrying uses up your mental resources. When you’re stressed or anxious, that stress or anxiety is always running in the background of your mind — even while you’re doing other things. It’s like having an unnecessary program running on your computer that slows everything else down.

That means your stress, anxiety, and worry make your mind multitask all the time. And constant multitasking gets exhausting. But here’s the good news…

People in this study who wrote about their stresses, anxieties, and worries offloaded them, so their brains could run efficiently again. Think of it like deleting unnecessary, memory-sucking programs off your computer. All of a sudden, everything loads quickly and runs smoothly again.

People in the study who didn’t write about their stresses, anxieties, and worries kept using up extra brain resources by running these “unnecessary programs” in the background of their brains.

Ready, set… journal!

When I was a kid, I had a diary. I’d write about everything — good and bad. I stopped writing in a journal sometime during my teenage years, but maybe I should start one again. Maybe you should too. After all, who couldn’t use a bit more brain space?

If you’re interested in journaling your way to a better brain, here are a few tips to get started:

  • Find a notebook or journal. You can buy reasonably priced ones on Amazon or in stores like Barnes and Noble. Or maybe you already have one lying around the house.
  • Set aside a few minutes to write every day. You don’t have to spend a lot of time journaling, but you do have to be consistent. Commit to writing in your journal a few minutes every day without fail. The end of the day is a good time to journal because then you can “offload” any stressful events that happened throughout the day. Or maybe you want to carry your journal on you throughout the day and take little writing breaks throughout the day to release your stresses and worries.
  • Let your thoughts flow unfiltered. Don’t worry about what you’re writing in your journal. Don’t censor or edit yourself. No one’s going to read it (unless you want them to). And you don’t have to write about worries exclusively. You can write about everything. You may want to try something called stream of consciousness writing where you just let whatever is on your mind flow out onto the page. This will likely include fears and worries but also hopes, desires, dreams and maybe even funny moments from your day.

Editor’s note: While you’re doing all the right things to protect your brain as you age, make sure you don’t make the mistake 38 million Americans do every day — by taking a drug that robs them of an essential brain nutrient! Click here to discover the truth about the Cholesterol Super-Brain!


  1. Writing out your worries really works wonders — MedicalXpress
  2. The effect of expressive writing on the error‐related negativity among individuals with chronic worryPsychophysiology
  3. Journaling for Mental Health — University of Rochester Medical Center
Jenny Smiechowski

By Jenny Smiechowski

Jenny Smiechowski is a Chicago-based freelance writer who specializes in health, nutrition and the environment. Her work has appeared in online and print publications like Chicagoland Gardening magazine, Organic Lifestyle Magazine, BetterLife Magazine,, and