May 05

You have likely heard of the word trigger. We see it used as a disclaimer before reading an article, listening to a podcast or viewing certain media. It is a word meant as a warning that the content may illicit unpleasant or even traumatic memories within you. I recently learned the word trigger has an antonym, glimmer. A glimmer contains content that sparks memories and feelings of joy.

Our brains are often wired to see, feel and perceive negative information. Scientists suggest this is a primal survival response in order to be aware of our surroundings and potential threats. It is important, however, to attune ourselves to the good that surrounds us. What are your glimmers? What are the things that spark a moment of joy within your brain? They don’t need to be complicated. For me, the smell of a fresh rain. The taste of cinnamon. Watching a spectacular play on a sports highlight reel. Being outwitted in a strategy based board game makes me howl with laughter.

Can you identify your glimmers? Even better, do you know the glimmers of your children? Knowing their glimmers is a powerful tool for uplifting moods, de-escalating emotions and regulating feelings. If you know their glimmers, go ahead and leverage them as much as possible. If you don’t know their glimmers, it’s time to experiment. Is there a piece of music they like? Is there a place in nature they love to go? Is there a scent that puts a smile on their face? Once the brain has been sparked be a glimmer, be ready for the possibilities of what may come next. What new ideas will be inspired? What conversations might you be able to engage in? What learning will be ripe for exploring?

Brad Emery


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