Ever wondered what situational awareness is?
Situational awareness is all about being aware of your surroundings in order to protect your personal safety. From being present on a larger scale to ensure the safety of a mass to being helpful in protecting your family and friends, situational awareness should be a regular practice. Know that the act of being aware of your surroundings starts at your home, at workspaces, and even when you are exploring places you have always visited or lived in.
Being situationally aware focuses on ensuring you know what’s happening around you and prepares you to take necessary actions to protect yourself. It has an influence on your lifestyle, the perception of the locality that you live in, and how you behave when in a familiar as well as an unfamiliar space. Situational awareness constantly assesses and evaluates potential risk factors and threats that you are taking through a decision-making process.
Why does being aware of your surroundings matter?
Being safe or knowing how to protect yourself is an essential part of being aware of the risks around you. This aspect is very often neglected or not taken into account with all seriousness. A few examples of being unaware of your surroundings can include simply going around your local premises with headphones plugged in and looking down at your phone screen, walking with a baby stroller on the wrong side of the road, or even staying inside your car in a dimly lit parking zone for longer with doors open.
Such behavior is often a result of people thinking they are safe in their environment. Unknowingly, giving room for mishaps to strike. But just by paying attention, one can eliminate distractions and constantly assess the behavior of people around you.
Situational awareness is never about the big things. It is rather about small decisions that one makes every day. From being careful of who is walking behind you to being mindful of the people you are sharing a room with. Remember, it takes barely a moment of carelessness for a situation of safety concern to deteriorate. And while the police may spring into action and have the culprit behind bars, the trauma inflicted on the victim ends up staying with them for life.
Fortunately, just being more aware of your surroundings can help safeguard you against any mishaps. Being aware of your surroundings diminishes the possibility of a crime taking place while giving ample time to a person to think and act in the right direction.
How to practice situational awareness?
Situational awareness can become a part of your life through regular practice. Consider analyzing everyday decisions for risk. For example, if you often walk to a dimly lit car parking lot, reconsider if it is absolutely necessary and if there’s a better, better-lit parking lot where you start parking your car.
Other ways to protect yourself and stay safe
Always listen to your gut instinct. If you get a feeling that someplace or someone is not right and you feel uncomfortable being there, it is best to withdraw and get back to being in a safe space. Do not ignore such instincts. Do not hesitate to withdraw because it seems rude; give your safety and security the utmost importance. Always follow your sixth sense.
Constantly assessing your surroundings for risk is important. For example, assessing how safe your house is counts as practicing situational awareness. Similarly, assessing your daily commute route and the potential risk factors involved with it and the parking spaces you opt for counts as being aware of your surroundings and knowing the risks that are involved.
Lastly, if you see something happening, say something about it. Never hesitate to call the police for help. They will take over the scenario from there and help neutralize the situation for your safety. Never take matters into your own hands. No matter how prepared you may feel, the risk can escalate quickly and get out of hand. Always have professionals take care of sensitive and risky situations.
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