My second (virtual) workshop was an extension of the previous one, answering the question again can we realign our thoughts by rearranging our words. I held two workshops on Wednesday 30th December at 2pm and 6pm. I believed holding these workshops before the end of 2020 was a positive and calming way to end the year.
I instructed the attendees to write a negative thought down on a piece of paper, noting that it should be at least two sentences long with 15-20 words to make the activity accessible. The next part was to associate the negative sentence with a colour, along with picking one word to describe the thought and one emotion to identify with it. The act of colouring the sentence allows for it to be simplified and thus less threatening to the individual.
The next part was to pick a colour that felt the opposite of the negative one, along with a describing word and emotion also. This perhaps being a representation of a place you want to get to. For example you may pick blue to express feeling ‘lonely’ or ‘low’ and therefore the opposite could be yellow indicating ‘company’ and ‘joy.’ Once this had been picked I asked the workshop groups to cut up the negative sentence, with each word being separate. Following the same activity from the previous workshop, the idea was to rearrange the words to form a more positive sentence.
Below is an example of mine, including both the colour association and word rearranging:
The two activities were effective, I learnt from my feedback, although the cutting up of the sentence and reassembling them was the most therapeutic.
The second stage of the workshop was to take the theme of the now positive thought and create a poem from it. The poem did not need to be anything spectacular, but ultimately just needed to be linked to the realigned sentence. From feedback, I learnt that this was also an effective approach to dealing with difficult thoughts. It was mentioned that to have a topic / idea for the poem from the previous activity was useful, and made writing the poem easier. It was nice to hear everyones realigned thoughts poetry, and see the journey of a once negative thought turned into a now mentally positive poem.
Below is an example of my journey of my negative thought into a poem:
The next stage of this will be to create a publication using the collection of poems from these workshops, to form a further awareness for mental health.
Wednesday 30th December 2020 // Gabrielle Spooner