Before the dawn of the internet, and specifically social media, we relied on our friends, television, and radio to fuel our pop culture vocabulary. Plastering positive sayings on our Lisa Frank binders in school, reading tagged overpasses while cruising, and mimicking our favorite celebrities gave us phrases such as: “You go Girl!”, and “Eat My Shorts!”
While potentially detrimental to the mental health of uncontrolled scrollers, social media provides visibility to the trending catchphrases, idioms, and ideas to its followers.
I will admit that I have wasted hours, possibly days, watching cute cat videos, liking inspirational gifs, and forwarding reels to family and friends. Rarely do I benefit from this terrible waste of time.
Recently the social media gods gifted me a new use of a word. I pondered, and thought on it. It touched me, and gave me a moment of introspection, which was much more beneficial than the brain atrophy I usually end a scrolling session with.
What is a glimmer in 2024? It’s not a side effect of hanging out with fairies. Or even a symptom of an ocular disturbance.
A glimmer is the opposite of a trigger. Triggers set us in a rage. They have the power to upset our daily life, causing frustration, anger, and occasionally uncontrollable outbursts. A glimmer brings joy and happiness, peace or gratitude.
People are so focused on finding the negative as we venture through our day. We are triggered by incompetent drivers, phones that never stop ringing, dripping vehicles, lost tools, screaming children, toilet paper rolls that don’t replace themselves, and countless other tiny, yet mood altering events. We are typically so buried by negativity and deadlines that we can’t see the micro-moments that promise delight.
Retraining our brains to recognize, rather than dismiss, an opportunity to relish in bliss is a journey to a greater mind set.
A bit of fairy dust isn’t required, but may prove helpful.
How do we change our behavior to focus on the glimmer and reject the trigger?
Intentional response: It’s easy to fall into a pit of hostility, and even more difficult to dig yourself out. It’s a place where everything is crap, the slightest irritant will throw you into a fit of rage, life sucks, people suck, everything sucks. The pit drains energy and leaves you feeling as if your skin could crawl right off your bones.
It takes work to be positive. An intentional cognitive thought process is required to stay out of the dumps. The energy used to stay above ground is minimal compared to the energy consumed while in the pit. Not everything is going to be sunshine,rainbows, and fairy dust all of the time but training your brain to focus on the positive will breed more positivity, just as succumbing to the misery will quickly engulf every aspect of your life. Be intentional with your reactions, responses and interpretations of daily situations. If you decide to be a positive person, you will become one, or at very least have the motivation to keep working at it.
Self-reflection: We all know that person that walks into work on a daily basis and we silently wonder who peed in their cereal bowl that morning. The hatred radiates from their very being as if it were a cloud of radioactive heat. If you don’t know that guy, and think that’s normal, I hate to tell you, but it’s you. We can not become better if we don’t truly look within ourselves and identify the broken pieces. What can you do to improve your perception of the world around you? Just because it looks like poop, doesn’t mean that it is.
If at the end of the day the only thing you can remember is what went wrong, it is time to retrain yourself to find the glimmers in your day. Seek joy in momentary interactions, see the opportunity in any situation, find gratitude within those that surround you.
Self-care: When we are suffering physically or emotionally it is near impossible to have a sunny side up demeanor. Heck, we wish the glowing ball of fire would just stay on the other side of the earth so that we can maintain our doom and gloom attitude with no disruption. Be your biggest advocate. Sleep enough, take a walk, talk to a friend (or therapist). Taking the time to take care of your body and mind will allow the fog to clear and let that glimmer of positivity in. We are no good to anyone else, when we are not good to ourselves.
I am making my first steps into this journey. I want to remember the rainbow after the storm instead of the puddles. I will find my glimmers in everyday interactions even when mindlessly scrolling on social media (cat videos only) and it will make me a better person. It won’t be easy, but I promise it will be worth it, not only to myself but to my family, friends and peers.
Can I get a “You Go Girl”!