Crumpled Letter

Crumpled Letter
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The Crumpled Letter Activity

The whole point of Crumpled Letter exercise is to help people reframe their emotional response in a more powerful and/or positive way. This activity is wonderfully applied in programs that seek to build resilience, mindfulness and social-emotional learning skills.

Distribute a sheet of paper and pen to each person in your group. Invite each person to focus on a particular experience that frustrates them, makes them angry or causes them concern.

In as few words as possible, ask each person to write this experience on their paper. When ready, ask everyone to crumple the sheet of paper into a ball.
Immediately, or at a later point, ask each person to open the crumpled paper and flatten it as much as possible.

Using whatever pens, markers and/or craft materials you have available, ask each person to transform their paper into something new, eg add a doodle, colour it in, fold it into something, etc. When ready, invite one or more members of your group to share what they created.

Invite your group to reflect on the process of reframing their experience.

There is something really powerful about the act of colouring in, or reimagining a feeling or emotion that our first impressions can take on a whole new life. These thoughts can be as self-reflective and/or as deeply meditative as one chooses.

Moment of Reflection
  • Do you think this exercise helped you in some way? How?
  • How difficult was it for you to reframe the experience?
  • What assisted you most to reframe or view this experience differently?
  • What will help you remember to apply this strategy the next time you have a big feeling?
See also  Explore the Experience

The topics of this publication: selfemotions, wellbeing, reflection, resilience, mindfulness

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