Situational awareness is key to personal security. While its definition goes beyond just this realm, it can be summed up by this very basic concept – knowing what’s going on around you.
It sounds simple enough, and you may think that you’ve got it or that you are aware of what’s happening around you, but in reality most people are not aware as they should be. And in fact, while observing those in our modern world today – it appears that a great many of them are entirely unaware.
Here are three ‘drills’ to practice your own situational awareness:
Earlier, I gave you 5 drills to practice. You might want to try them too ;)
Use Your Peripheral Vision
We all have peripheral vision, but what we see there is often ignored while we ‘tunnel vision’ what’s directly in front of us. When you are out in public it is especially important to ‘see’ with your peripheral vision. Practice looking ahead (as you normally would) but while doing so – mentally notice what’s in your peripheral. You can do this even while talking with someone. Monitoring a wider field of vision will enable you to see (or be more aware) of anything which may be out of the ordinary.
Use Reflective Surfaces
When you are walking in an area where there are windows along the side (e.g. walking downtown, etc..) practice glancing at these reflective surfaces to see what’s going on behind you and areas which you cannot see while walking forward.
No matter where you are, it’s good practice to visualize a threat or emergency, and figure out what you would do – right then. The more scenarios you practice, the more mentally prepared you will be for the ‘real deal’.
If you’re interested in more on situational awareness, here are more articles I’ve written on the subject.