Specializing in PTSD Glimmers — Not Triggers — Throughout the Holidays

Specializing in PTSD Glimmers — Not Triggers — Throughout the Holidays

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What are glimmers and what have they got to do with post-traumatic stress dysfunction (PTSD)?

I not too long ago got here throughout a meme on Fb concerning the time period “glimmer.” You in all probability already know {that a} PTSD set off is one thing that reminds you of your trauma and cues your physique to answer a perceived menace with battle, flight, freeze, or fawn — issues like loud fireworks, a really busy crowd, or particles on the aspect of the street. Nicely, a glimmer could possibly be thought-about the alternative of a set off. A glimmer cues your physique that you’re protected and you may really feel calm and relaxed.

I did slightly extra analysis to know what I used to be in search of. Glimmers are the little issues that convey us pleasure calmly or peacefully. Miniature moments of connection and/or happiness. Some examples could possibly be spending time in nature, listening to good music, seeing a rainbow, cuddling in a mushy blanket, gardening, or the scent or style of freshly baked bread. The time period, glimmer, was created by licensed scientific social employee Deb Dana in her e-book, The Polyvagal Principle in Remedy. She needed sufferers to concentrate on how you can develop and heal after trauma, somewhat than concentrate on triggers and reliving traumatic reminiscences. She does this through the use of her experience in advanced trauma and her information of polyvagal concept — the science of understanding the vagus nerve and the way our physique is related to our skill to speak and join with others.

I began to note my glimmers and I’m fortunate to have a number of. The consolation of residence, the scent of cookies within the oven, doing puzzles, laughing with buddies, dance events in the lounge, petting the canine, petting any canine, constructing Legos, making artwork, stitching, random acts of kindness …  The extra I give it some thought, the extra I notice that my glimmer listing could be very, very lengthy. I began speaking with my husband, Russ, about what his glimmer listing may be, and he, too, had fairly an inventory. We each realized our glimmers have been often whereas connecting with others or being inventive … or each!

In the previous couple of weeks, we have now been doing extra with our buddies — visiting new displays, attending performing arts programming, enjoying board or video video games, or simply watching a beloved tv present collectively. The easy act of connecting with our buddies helps us really feel extra grounded. We additionally get to share laughs and create new and protected reminiscences to relive as a substitute of ruminating over our traumatic pasts. Trying again, it appears so easy however it does take effort to get out of the home, generally greater than others if we’re triggered or coming upon a traumatic anniversary.

The enjoyment juice is well worth the squeeze.
Even whether it is short-term, the micro-moments of peace are welcome.

We additionally discovered that random acts of kindness are simply the best way we’re wired. What does a random act of kindness seem like for our household? For us, they’re small gestures that present you care, resembling holding a door, choosing up litter, donating blood, donating to charity, getting concerned in the neighborhood, or complimenting somebody. There are a lot of different examples however our daughters have began to do the identical factor I do once we are out: randomly complimenting strangers. There have been superior outfits on the Renaissance Competition this fall and the ladies weren’t shy about saying “That’s a cool costume!” aloud to a stranger. It is even higher when the ladies acknowledge an obscure character. We acknowledge the work these individuals put into their ‘look’ and we get pleasure from thanking them for sharing it with the world. And it’s not simply costumes. We do it once we grocery store, too. A cool hair coloration, a nifty shirt, or a festive sweater will get a shout-out as a result of we will and since we often make somebody smile, which makes our day brighter.

Talking of brighter, one large glimmer for me throughout this time of yr is festive lights and decorations, particularly if I occur to be within the automotive with our daughters. Listening to them “ooh” and “aah” on the easiest lights makes me smile. We’re fortunate to stay close to some fairly wonderful native gentle reveals … a glimmering glimmer on chilly, darkish winter nights. On particularly powerful days, I’ve loaded them within the automotive and pushed across the neighborhood to see new or acquainted “twinkle lights,” as they name them. It lifts all our spirits and helps convey a way of calm to the night routine.

I hope you can begin to note your glimmers and really feel a glow of peace and calm this vacation season.

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