Lisa Wimberger's five fast ways to slow down quickly (INFOGRAPHICS)
This week's feature story, "Shall We Trance?" by Amber Taufen profiles Lisa Wimberger, who teaches cops how to de-stress for success.
Here, Wimberger offers up these ways to de-stress after a hard day -- ideas around her top five to-dos.
Story by Wimberger, illustrations by Jay Vollmar.
Two solid minutes of breathing exercises just after work and before going home, or just after an intense interaction. Begin by breathing in with an audible breath, similar to the sound of the ocean as the air passes through the throat. The first few breaths in last for the slow count of three, the exhales are equal in duration. Gently increase the duration of each inhale/exhale up to a comfortable seven or eight count. After two full minutes the nervous system should be more relaxed.
Imagine the particular stressors of the day and while thinking of these, shake your hands, shoulders and legs as though you are shaking off a swarm of bees. Do this for at least two minutes. You may feel awkward or embarrassed, but shaking like this while activating stress helps dissipate the adrenaline levels in our body associated with that event. It leaves the body feeling calmer, and helps bring down adrenaline and cortisol levels.
Take five or ten minutes to sit comfortably for this visualization. Imagine yourself at a beach, by yourself, with the perfect climate, surroundings, etc. Approach the water's edge. As you slowly walk into the ocean, allow the motion of the tide to wash through your feet, taking with it any stress from the day. Slowly imagine yourself walking deeper and deeper into the ocean -- each time washing away the stress from your body. Eventually, you can float yourself in the ocean, imagining yourself to be weightless and totally relaxed. Don't do this exercise if you have negative associations with the beach. Choose a different location and a different method of washing away. Examples: Forest hike, the sunlight through the leaves washes away the stress, etc.