‘Glimmers’ are the opposite of triggers. Here are some ways which you can embrace your glimmers!

What even is a ‘Glimmer’?

Glimmers are small moments which spark joy or peace within ourselves. These glimmers can tell our body to chill out, or that it is safe. Some experts even say that shifting our focus from what our triggers are to what our glimmers are is life-changing! And that it can even have a positive effect on our mental health.

Everyone knows about triggers, what they are and what happens if we come across one, but not as many people know what its counterpart the glimmer is.

Deb Dana first mentioned glimmers in her book ‘The Polyvagal Theory in Therapy.’ The book sounds complicated, but the idea of glimmers is quite simple: They are moments in which our biological body feels totally safe and at ease, through connection or regulation.

She also made sure to highlight that these are not huge things in our lives, instead referring to them as micro-moments. These micro-moments gently shape our system into a more positive place.

Glimmers are snowballing

The idea of glimmers has really started to snowball in the past few weeks, with one video about them on TikTok gaining more than 78,000 likes!

Where can I find a glimmer?

Well, you can find one anywhere! Glimmers are those tiny moments that bring joy, relaxation, safety, connection or a feeling that the world is okay. It might not even last a second, but that is still a glimmer. If you are looking for some inspiration on where to find a glimmer, try:

  • In nature, admiring a leaf, your garden or looking at the stars,
  • Noticing a stranger smiling, or the sound of your friend’s voice
  • Feeling comfort with your pet, or how excited they are to see you when you come home,
  • Unexpected church bells, or hearing your favourite song on the radio


Dana says that “You feel something happen inside. There’s an energy that happens around a glimmer, and then your brain marks it as well.”

Are glimmers actually useful to me?

Yes! No matter who you are, or what you are going through, glimmers can help!

“The thing I love about glimmers is that, working with trauma survivors, it’s so respectful of their suffering,” Dana says. “It allows them to understand that their biology is wired in a way that we don’t discount the trauma or the crisis or the ongoing suffering, but we recognize that their biology is exquisitely set up to be able to also notice the micro moments of goodness.”

Amy Morin, the editor-in-chief of Verywell Mind, says that our brains are wired to look for the bad. If we are always looking out for glimmers, this rewires our brains to look for the good. This can give us a little break from the bad emotions to experience even small moments of joy. This switching off of the emotion overload means that we can also take a step back and see things more logically.

“Less emotional distress can also help you take more positive action. And that positive action can help make your life better.” says Amy.

How do I embrace glimmers?

Once your brain starts to recognise glimmers, it will see them more and more often.

Deb says the easiest way to find glimmers is to set out to find them – say “I will find one glimmer before lunch.” Some people even keep a glimmer journal, to write down all the little things that gave them a smile throughout the day, so that if they are having a bad day, they can remind themselves of situations that gave them a smile.

Amy also says to let yourself feel the emotion thoroughly. “Sometimes, people don’t want to feel them because they know those emotions won’t last, or they might feel guilty for feeling good during a hard time in their lives,” she says. “But trust that it’s OK to allow yourself to experience them. Enjoy them while they last. And know that you’ll have more moments of joy in the future as well.”

Brb, we are heading out to look at the pretty colours in the autumn leaves!

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