Spin a thought spiral

  • Hi, my name is Niko! I’m excited to share this project because writing out my thoughts has always been a helpful tool for understanding what’s going on inside me. Maybe sometimes you also can get into your own head, and think in circles (or spirals!).

    It can be helpful to get some of the thoughts out and onto something in the “real world”. It also can help to see that others are feeling or thinking in similar ways. We all think/ overthink things sometimes, and it can feel supportive to see that others have these spirals inside them too.


  • STEP 1 OF 9

    First, let’s gather materials:

    1. Pen or pencil

    2. Paper (any size can work, but the larger the better)

    3. A pair of scissors

    4. A string (optional, for hanging)

    5. Tape (optional, for hanging)

  • STEP 2 OF 9

    Let’s take a moment to get comfortable.

    Wiggle your fingers and toes.

    Feel where your feet are on the floor or where your body meets the chair.

    We’re going to start with 5 deep breaths. If you feel comfortable, you can close your eyes while you breathe.


  • STEP 3 OF 9

    Now, take a couple of minutes by yourself to think on one of these questions:

    1. What has been worrying me lately?

    2. What has been helping me when my mind starts spinning?

    3. What is going on inside me? Are there shapes, colors, or weights to the feelings I am feeling?

    4. What do I wish people knew about me? Why?

    Or come up with your own question! What other thoughts or feelings get your mind spinning?

    You can write about something that happened recently or something that happened a long time ago. Maybe it’s something that hasn’t even happened yet.


  • STEP 4 OF 9

    On your paper, draw a spiral with at least an inch of room between each layer to leave enough space to write or draw between the lines. The spiral can be more circular or it can be square – just let it flow out of you naturally. It doesn’t have to be “perfect”.

  • STEP 5 OF 9

    Now that you’ve connected with yourself and thought about your question, it’s time to put some of this reflection into the spiral. The spiral can be words, doodles, or a combination. For things you want to keep private, you can create symbols or code words.

    Start at the center of the spiral and freewrite, draw, and/or doodle until you are outside of the spiral. Let the answers to the question you thought about earlier flow from your mind to your hand.

    Again, what you’re writing or drawing is not as much about the finished product as it is about the process. There’s no right way to do this, just have fun and relax as your pen moves on the paper.


  • STEP 6 OF 9

    Once you’ve filled your page, take a moment to look at your writing and drawings.

    How did it feel to move your thought spiral from inside your head to your paper?

    Are there certain words or images that catch your eye? Are there certain ones that are repeated?


  • STEP 7 OF 9

    As you continue to think about those questions, start from the outside and cut along the lines of the spiral. Be careful not to cut your writing and/or drawings if possible. If you do, that’s okay. Imperfection can actually make art (and life) more interesting.


  • STEP 8 OF 9

    When you pick up your spiral from the center, watch how the layers of the spiral move.

    All that was in your head! Now it’s here moving and changing in the real world for you and others to see if you choose to share.

    Tie a string into the middle of your spiral and hang it somewhere or just watch the paper move in your hands.

    How did it feel to move some of your thoughts from your head to the paper?

    I hope you’ll remember this activity next time you feel your thoughts beginning to spin in your head!


  • STEP 9 OF 9

    To share your thought spiral in our gallery, just click below.