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GLIMMERS and triggers



comparison of feeling states associated with glimmers and triggers
Glimmers and Triggers

You will have almost certainly heard the words fight, flight, freeze & fawn in relation to trauma … but have you heard of glimmers and triggers?


I thought it would be nice to start the year off on a positive note by raising awareness of them.


Glimmers are those small, micro moments when we feel connection, or regulation, and thus feel safe or calm. They are the opposite to ‘triggers’, which signal a potential threat to our being.


Triggers mobilise us into fight or flight responses, or cue us into inaction with a freeze or fawn response. Which of these states are you most familiar with?


·        FIGHT ~ feeling aggressive toward a perceived threat

·        FLIGHT ~ the need to get away from a threat or danger

·        FREEZE ~ immobilisation caused by a perceived threat or danger

·        FAWN ~ trying to please another, to avoid conflict


As a generalisation, we are programmed to look for bad things, for negativity. Teaching ourselves to notice positive acts and thoughts is important. For example, the practice of feeling gratitude, or doing an unexpected random act of kindness. Finding glimmers in daily life also fits in here.


Glimmers make us feel good; calm, joy-filled, peaceful. They support us in thriving, rather than merely surviving. They reduce emotional distress and support learning.


Glimmers will be different for us all. Remember, they cause us to FEEL connected, regulated, safe, calm.


Some examples of glimmers are:

·        Petting animals

·        Experiences with therapy horses

·        Humming, singing

·        Basking in nature

·        Gardening

·        Hugging someone

·        Joining new communities of like-minded people

·        The smell of freshly baked goodies


I wonder what glimmers you’ll find tomorrow?

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