Episode 047 – Glimmers
“Get some sun on your face. Pet a dog. Smell some flowers or tip the lady at the grocery store. Glimmers… they’re what’s hip.”
“When your emotions go down, your logic goes up.” -Amy Morin
I had a recent conversation with someone I love dearly but disagree with on so many levels.
I told myself before our conversation that I was not going to get emotional. Not going to take the bait and let our “catch-up” trigger me into a pointless debate.
These types of conversations (you know how they go) tend to ramp up the nervous system and get things all outta whack.
It didn’t go so well.
But, I learned (re-learned) a valuable lesson and discovered something new; Glimmers.
Episode 047 has a little science, some raw emotion, and some Taylor Swift. Whataya mean they aren’t connected? Of course they are. Let’s get into it.
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Until next time… Be nice. Do good stuff.
Hey everyone… Welcome to episode 47.
Today is going to be a very short episode, one born from a tense conversation and in response, I thought a little toxic positivity could serve as the antidote.
During this conversation, despite my best efforts, I got triggered.
I hate when I get triggered. These days, we’re all so good at firing off, stating our opinions, our disagreements. We have no trouble posting about our hangups and hangnails, and damn if it isn’t down right exhausting.
So much so, I find myself actively avoiding conversations with people I love but don’t want to talk to. Sorry, I’m just being honest.
When I do make the attempt to conversate with people who reside on the other side of the chasm, I do so only after giving myself a lengthy pep talk…
- You are strong, wiser
- You will not take the bait
- You will not get lured
And then it all goes to shit.
You’ve probably had this happen to you. You buy a new car and as soon as you drive off the lot, you see that car everywhere. You never noticed them before but now that you own the rust colored Honda, you see rust colored Hondas everywhere.
Well guess what? It’s got a name.
It’s called the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon. Also known as the frequency illusion. It’s a phenomenon where something you recently learned or became aware of seems to appear everywhere, making it feel like it’s more common than it actually is.
Recently, I’ve been seeing articles, posts, and memes about the vagus nerve. It’s like I just bought the latest and greatest vagus nerve and now… everyone has one.
I know… that is not what you were expecting to hear.
The vagus nerve… You know it… or you will after this. It’s the main nerve that controls your parasympathetic nervous system.
Now, without getting into a dissertation on the nervous system, the vagus nerve and the parasympatheic nervous system controls your body’s involuntary functions such as digestion, heart rate, and your immune system.
When we get stressed or triggered, the body reacts via the fight or flight response and that triggers the vagus nerve to react…
…and it does so by sending messages to the brain. When this system gets overloaded, it’s like the electrical grid becoming overloaded. Things start to go haywire.
When I had the recent conversation I had a front row seat to the entire process. Afterward, I was kinda pissed off that I allowed myself to go there so… I did some research on the old vagus nerve to find out how to counter-act that overstimulation of the nervous system when it happens.
Which it won’t. Ever again.
How can we do it quickly and without medication or alcohol. You know what I found?
Glimmers. I found Glimmers.
That’s exactly what you were thinking, right?
No. A glimmer is not a member of Taylor Swift’s backup band. Speaking of Taylor and the frequency illusion, Taylor… darling… can you go away for a millisecond or two and stop infiltrating every single one of my news feeds? Please. I love you, but sweet Jesus.
I thought Barbie…
A Glimmer is… according to Deb Dana, author of the Polyvagal Theory in Therapy… the exact opposite of a trigger.
It’s some kind of cue, either internal or external that brings one back to a sense of joy or safety.
It’s super simple and can literally be anything from a walk in the park or staring at your garden or seeing the stars in the sky.
It can be the warmth of a loved one’s voice… be careful with this one. It could go wrong quickly.
Playing with your dog… A great cup of coffee… You get the idea.
Glimmers activate the vagus nerve in a good way. They calm your nervous system down. And it’s almost immediate.
And when you’re nervous system is calm, you’re obviously better at making better decisions.
Amy Morin, clinical social work and creator the Verywell Mind Podcast says,
“When your emotions go down, your logic goes up.That means you might be able to tackle a problem from a different angle because you see things a little differently, or you might be able to talk yourself into doing something difficult, once your anxiety subsides a little. Less emotional distress can also help you take more positive action.”
Who doesn’t love some positive action.
There you go kids. You mid-week, morning dose of toxic positivity. Drink up!
And listen, the next time someone posts about how disappointed they were with their omelet or creates a meme with their cute kitty unravelling the toilet paper roll, shake it off.
That discussion your MAGA hat wearing uncle wants to have… you know the one about the drag queen taking out a school full of kids with a copy of To Kill A Mockingbird?
Don’t take the bait. It’s not worth the chafe. The miles on your nervous system.
Instead, get some sun on your face. Pet a dog. Smell some flowers or tip the lady at the grocery store.
Glimmers… they’re what’s hip.
And Taylor… if you write that, I want my Guap.
Alright… that’s it for this week. Listen, this is the year The Mind Unset sets new goals and reaches them. But… it doesn’t happen without you. So, if you wanna become a show supporter, head over to the mindunset.com and click the button.
Share the episodes. Tell your friends. Leave a review. It helps.
If you don’t feel like it… well, that’s fine too.
Either way, I’ll be here next week. I hope you will too.
Until then, here are a couple of glimmers to get you through:
Number 1. Be Nice.
Number 2. Do good stuff.
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