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Thought Downloads

Updated: Oct 18, 2021

I’m going to be honest and say that I have actually always struggled with the idea of journaling. Don’t get me wrong - I have tried dozens and dozens of times. I have bought countless pretty journal books and pens, and started dutifully to write the first couple of entries. And then I got busy or (let’s be honest) I lost interest.


I just couldn’t get into it. My brain would offer a bunch of other things I could be doing instead. It would tell me that someone might sneakily read my inner thoughts or that I didn’t have anything interesting to say. I realize now that there were some things I maybe wasn’t ready to see in there and others that I would rather not deal with.

So when I first learned about thought downloads and the CTFAR model by listening to Dr Katrina Ubell’s podcast, I was definitely resistant. I was like - Really? Journaling? That’s what she wants me to do? Do I have to?

Writing gives you power

Photo credit: Ryan Franco on Unsplash

And I didn’t for a few months. But the more I listened, the more I began to see that what Katrina had to say actually made sense. I began to write out some CTFAR models for myself and then I began to see that writing gave me power over my own thoughts.

I know that sounds weird, so I’ll say it again: Writing gave me power over my own thoughts. Wait - don’t you already have power over your own thoughts by thinking them? Actually not. Turns out that our brains rely heavily on the visual cortex for processing, so it makes sense that my brain needed to see my thoughts to gain control over them.

Uncluttering your brain

Nowadays most of us rely on our brains to do the heavy lifting in our jobs. Whether it’s working to solve problems, communicating with others or creating content, our brain is a valuable asset that we fully control all the time, right?.

TDs help me get back to my preferred state of optimal brain performance (OBP)

But what about when we doubt or second guess ourselves? Or when we worry about what will happen in the future or what other people will think?

By conservative estimates we have at least 2,ooo thoughts per hour or 33 thoughts per minute. For most of us, only some of those thoughts are helpful, and others can be totally counterproductive.

What if there was a way to organize and manage your thoughts, eliminating the nonproductive or troublesome ones? Yep - you guessed it. Thought downloads and the CTFAR model is the fastest way I have found to analyze and solve problems, and it does so by helping me to see options.

Optimal brain performance (OBP)

Sometimes when I am doing thought downloads (TDs), I get an image in my brain that I have to draw out. I call these drawings T-Doodles.

The one I did on thought downloads came to me as I was experiencing the lightness and energy that came from offloading useless thoughts. It’s like as I was writing, I could see the little people inside my head breaking down the brick walls, one brick at a time, and offloading them.

Now I’m so used to doing TDs that I can definitely tell when I haven’t done one in a while. There’s this heaviness and discomfort like when I haven’t brushed my teeth, and an urge to clean it up so that I can get back to my preferred state of optimal brain performance (OBP).

If you’ve never been one for journaling, I get you. I don’t even think of it as journaling any more. It’s more like clearing out mental debris. I can do a TD/CTFAR model on the back of an envelope if required. No pretty journal book required.


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