We’ve all heard of triggers. Sensory stimuli that can cause a traumatic or painful memory to resurface, often without warning. A trigger is not simply something that annoys you, or makes you feel uncomfortable, it is an involuntary reaction that can make you feel as if you are reexperiencing a painful moment. Understanding and language around triggers is growing, and this is a very positive step for mental health awareness. However, there is a new kid on the block, the yin to the yang of triggers. They’re called glimmers, and they could be the key to experiencing more joy, if only you learn how to look for them…
What Are Glimmers?
The term ‘glimmer’ was first coined by social worker Deb Dana. In her 2018 book The Polyvagal Theory In Therapy: Engaging The Rhythm Of Regulation Dana outlined that glimmers are micro-moments that cause us to feel happy, safe, grounded and hopeful. They remind us of the joy of life. Basically, glimmers are the opposite of triggers. And one of the best things about glimmers is we can find them, just by looking. Simply imagine yourself as a metal detector — but instead of hidden treasure, you’re looking for moments that make you smile. We will also explore how to find daily ‘glimmers’ by microdosing magic truffles. Sparkly!
Why Should We Search for Glimmers?
Why should we be on the lookout for glimmers? Well, put simply, glimmers can do wonders for your mental health. When you’re having a bad day, feeling low, or struggling, glimmers can be a reset button. This reminder of the good things in life can bring clarity and a healthier headspace to give you the energy and strength to keep going.
This isn’t to say that glimmers are a way or hiding from the realities of a situation, or denying how you feel. But, often, without even realizing it, we can get stuck in a negative headspace, which seeps into everything we do. In this state of mind we can fail to notice all the good elements of life. This can affect how we interact with, and move through, the world.
For example, if you are feeling isolated or lonely, you might be more likely to see other people as hostile, and act as such. This reinforces your idea that the world is unfriendly and prevents you from reaching out to combat your loneliness. To understand how glimmers can help us combat this feedback loop of behavior, it can help to look at the states our nervous system goes through as a ladder.
The bottom of the ladder: At the bottom of the ladder is the freeze state. We experience what is called a dorsal vagal shutdown, and we feel paralyzed or immobilized.
The next rung up the ladder: this is the fight or flight state. We feel waves of anxiety, adrenalin, anger or motivation to do something. Our sympathetic nerve circuit is activated, our heart rate is higher, and our muscles are braced. It is a stressful state.
The top of the ladder: At the top is where we feel secure and safe. We feel centered and connected and are able to engage socially and with the world around us. In this state we generally feel happy and our body can comfortably regulate itself (homeostasis).
So How Do Glimmers Help?
- Glimmers can help us return to the ‘top’ of the ladder, anchoring and centring us.
- They can help us feel ‘seen’ and present in our lives.
- They can remind us we are secure, so we can explore possibilities and learn in our day-to-day lives.
- These mini-moments of goodness can help to release the build-up of cortisol that comes from stressful situations, so we can return to homeostasis.
- Even when life is good, glimmers can top up that feeling of connection with the world, making your day even better.
How Microdosing Psilocybin Can Help You Find Glimmers
Microdosing with psilocybin has for some time been associated with helping the user to feel more satisfied and content with their lives overall. The practise, of taking a teeny-tiny dose of psilocybin-containing magic mushrooms or truffles, is said to:
- Improve focus and concentration
- Help you get into the ‘flow state’ more easily — at work, study, or hobbies.
- Increase productivity
- Increase creativity
- Improve problem-solving ability
- Increase overall awareness of self, environment and others
- Balance mood overall
- Reduce depressive symptoms
- Increase energy
- Improve ability to empathize
- Increase feelings of gratitude and spirituality
As you can see, there is a direct crossover between the way that microdosing psilocybin and looking for glimmers can help you to feel. By teaming these two feel-good friends up there’s no limit on the good vibes you can conjure. If spotting those glimmers is not coming easily, a microdose can help you identify them by enhancing your sensitivity and connection to the world around you. Similarly, looking for glimmers can help you make the most of your microdose, increasing your mindfulness and presence in the moment, as well as continuing the sparkle on non-microdose days. Basically, they help each other to shine!
Other Ways to Find Daily Glimmers
Here are some methods to help you find glimmers, whether you are microdosing or not. These engage all of your senses, and are a great way to be present in the moment.
Appreciate the ‘Everyday’
Glimmers are all around us, all the time. You just have to connect with them. Often they are everyday things we tend to overlook. From sunbeams illuminating a room, to the sound of rain, to the smell of cut grass, a cat purring, leaves on trees rustling, a smile from a stranger, to a bird singing or the feeling of clean sheets, there is so much around us that ‘glimmers’.
Write down a list of positive feelings. For example:
- Cared for
Next to your chosen words write down the last times you felt these feelings. What caused it, how your body and mind felt, what happened. Alternatively, just write down what makes you smile, so you know for next time!
Talk to Yourself Like You Would Talk to a Friend
Often, we are far harsher on ourselves than we would be to a friend or loved one. Give yourself the empathy and love you would show to a friend if they were feeling down. This will help you to feel more secure and thus able to seek out those glimmers.
Go on a Glimmer Hunt
What is more appealing than going on a little adventure simply to look for things that make you happy? Whether alone, with friends, in nature, or even in the local supermarket (some people find all the products soothing!) treat yourself to some everyday awe. You deserve it!
Find Daily ‘Glimmers’ By Microdosing Magic Truffles: The Takeaway
- Glimmers are small moments of everyday joy that we can use to see the good in life and ground us.
- They are the opposite of ‘triggers’.
- Microdosing psilocybin can help us to identify and enhance glimmers.
- Searching for glimmers can help us make the most of microdosing.
- There are various ways to tap into glimmers, from word association to going on glimmer ‘hunting’ expeditions.