On the Bright Side

Did you know that our brain is wired to look for the negative?

In the past few years, as a society, we have been educated on pinpointing personal triggers. Triggers are cues that are connected to an event or memory that sustained trauma. The goal of identifying personal triggers is to move your body from a state of dysregulation to supporting your nervous system in moving towards a sense of safety and feeling grounded. Identifying triggers has become necessary and important for healing and growth.

An equally powerful experience is the process of identifying glimmers. What is a glimmer?

Deb Dana, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and author of, “Polyvagal Theory in Therapy: Engaging the Rhythm of Regulation,” popularized the term, “glimmer.” A glimmer is an internal or external cue that activates the parasympathetic nervous system and helps direct the body back to a state of homeostasis. A state of feeling, calm, grounded and joyful.

Identifying glimmers can require more effort than identifying personal triggers. Here are a few steps to help you begin identifying glimmers in your life.

  1. Close your eyes and picture a time or place that brought you feelings of peace and/or happiness.

  2. Think about a memory that made you feel safe and cared for as a child.

  3. Think of a loved one.

  4. Engage in a mindfulness practice or breathing exercise that helps to settle into your present moment with awareness.

Here are a few glimmers you can look for in the week ahead!

  • The feeling of the sunshine on your skin
  • The smell of your morning coffee
  • The sound of the ocean breeze
  • The warmth of a hug from your partner or child

If you feel this was too big of a stretch for your mental capabilities, feel free to reach out and book an appointment with my office. There is no shame in needing assistance in getting started with a new practice and a licensed therapist could be a great first step.