5 + 1 Coping with Anxiety & Stress: Part 1, Introduction to Glimmers
This is a 6-part series on strategies with coping with anxiety and stress using one of my favorite coping skills using our five senses. I encourage you, as you are reading, to begin compiling the tools in real-time so that you are prepared the next time you are stressed. Everyone has needs that are uniquely their own, so as ideas come to you, jot them down. Sometimes our toolbox will be a physical box and sometimes it will be a virtual one. There is no right way, it is only your way.
When we are feeling anxious or stressed, it often comes with racing thoughts involving narratives that make us feel worse. Maybe we are thinking about all the times we messed up or thinking about how no one likes us. Maybe we are thinking we are worthless or broken. There is a part of us that knows these thoughts aren’t true and want to stop thinking them, but it feels like the thoughts have more control than we do.
So rather than continue to wrestle intrusive thoughts into submission, I want you to pivot into a strategy you can succeed at, which is, give your focus to something that feels good and not on the thoughts that leave you feeling terrible.
Therapists have begun to identify things they term “glimmers” which are like triggers but leave us feeling good rather than bad. Like triggers, glimmers are unique to each person, but there are some that broad, like thinking about or interacting with puppies or kittens.
You know that feeling you get when you see a picture or video of baby animals? I want you to pull that feeling up now, see if you can feel it in your body. And if you are struggling, toggle away from this page and search your phone for pictures/videos of your pets (ideally when they were babies).
The warm feeling that comes up, that brings a smile to your face and makes you forget for a brief second, that is what a glimmer feels like. And in this 6-part series, I want to set you up to feel it more often.
With each part, we are going to focus on a sense, but for this first part I simply want you to become familiar with the feeing and sensations. If you would like a more guided approach, check out the 10 minutes of Self Care companion episode found here.
This blog post is for informational purposes only and does not create any type of therapeutic relationship. For specific assistance, please consult your own medical and/or mental health provider.