Sometimes your ultimate weapon against violence can be your brain. Try some of these exercises to strengthen your intuition. It might help you sense whether that stranger you encounter on your walk or run is a real threat, or not…
At its root, your intuition is partially your subconscious ability to recognise something your conscious thoughts haven’t caught up with yet. Sit on a park bench or grab a seat at an outdoor café or mall food court.
Focus on the details of people walking by – what shoes is he wearing? Is she wearing an appropriate coat for the weather? Is he wearing a wedding ring? How quickly is she walking?
Create scenarios about where people are going, what they’re shopping for, how happy they are in their relationships or in their jobs.
It’s not about being accurate – you’ll never know whether you are – but about noticing a higher level of detail that might give you critical information someday.
Study facial expressions
“Microexpressions”, or unintentional facial expressions that flit across our faces in about one-fifteenth of a second are important clues for recognising who’s a threat.
One of the most important expressions to look for is contempt, which is characterised by a sneer.
Meditate every day
Even for just 10 minutes. Consistent meditators tend to be more attuned to details in the moment.
They also practise “noticing” their thoughts and emotions, which can make them less likely to freeze up in scary situations, because they’re in touch with their instinctual emotions but not ruled by them.
Excerpted from Survive the Unthinkable: A Total Guide to Women’s Self-Protection (Rodale, 2013) by Tim Larkin.
This article was originally published on Women's Health South Africa.
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