How to Practice Situational Awareness Everywhere

How to Practice Situational Awareness Everywhere

March 10, 2021

Rear View Of A Businessman Standing In Front Of Open Door

Situational awareness is often discussed, but it’s acknowledged how so few people know what it truly represents and why it’s tremendously important. It’s essential to understand situation awareness in the context of everyday life not just hostile environment awareness training (HEAT), travel safety and first aid training. Thinking proactively and understanding what to look out for can be the difference between safety and danger in everything situational.

Even in these times, where social contact outside the home is limited, and we leave our houses for only a select few reasons, situational awareness is essential. This blog will look at how we can apply principles in everyday situations and practice these principles to keep ourselves safe and free from harm.

What does Situational Awareness Mean?

The meaning of situational awareness is, in simple terms, being aware of what’s going on around you so you can anticipate things happening and take action, ideally before it happens. By being situationally aware, you’re cognisant and continually aware of your surroundings at any given moment.

As a term, it’s often associated with military or law enforcement, specifically with people practising combat situational awareness. It’s been popularised as a term because of its links with people who effectively and efficiently make combat-related decisions in tactical environments.

While it has origins in military decision-making, the reality is that situational awareness activities and principles can be applied to everybody, regardless of age, whereabouts and what you’re doing.

Situation Awareness and Decision-Making

Situational awareness is about getting in the mindset of consciously knowing what you’re doing and observing your surroundings. Even if making that same trip to the supermarket, driving the same route to work or going out for a peaceful walk, it pays dividends to practice situational awareness. Even if you’re home alone, at a friend’s house, or going to the shop to buy milk, you should always be prepared even when doing routine things that seem harmless or danger-free.

At Advanced Tactical Resources, we utilise principles of situational awareness in all of our training courses. One vital component of these principles involves conditioning your mind to spot certain things in your environment and identify if they are (or could be) obstacles in your decision-making process.

You’re less likely to be overwhelmed by tools and techniques which stifle your decision-making. Decisions are made based on what the brain is processing and what your intuition is sensing. By harmonising and balancing both of these activities in your brain, you can make more informed and pre-emptive decisions to become more situationally aware. This extends to decisions beyond the perception of potential threats from people and environmental risks or hazards.

7 Ways to Practice Situational Awareness

The above is just a snapshot of how to increase situational awareness in any environment. As the old saying goes, practice makes perfect. Here are ways in which you can practice situation awareness in everyday settings.

Be mindful.

Practice being ‘in the moment’ - when you are cognisant of your surroundings, your senses are all fully engaged. You can hear, smell and see everything and react a lot quicker.

Identify exits.

Anything can technically be an exit, even if it’s not an official one. But this could prove useful in an emergency.

Watch people without staring.

Observing people around you (in a non-invasive way) and watching how they react, express themselves and so on, is a great way to understand what’s going on around you.

Notice nonverbal cues.

Nonverbal communication can tell you a lot about how people are feeling. Does their body language align with what they’re saying? Most people have an easy giveaway that they’re lying, nervous or angry.

Limit distractions.

While distractions can’t always be eliminated everywhere, you can do your best to limit them. Being distracted opens you up to being more vulnerable.

Trust your gut feeling.

Listen to your instincts. If you feel uneasy about someone or someplace, you can remove yourself from danger by listening to your gut. Even if there’s no danger, learn to trust your gut.

Be strategic.

Being alert, walking tall and limiting your distractions is extremely important for situational awareness. You can do this by still showing kindness to people you meet.

Awareness Training

There are so many ways to practice situational awareness, with the above list only scratching the surface. There are risks everywhere we go. We cannot deny that.

Advanced Tactical Resources deal with reality. We train you on how to address the absence of the normal and the presence of the abnormal. We do this in all our scenario-based training courses.





Sorry, no courses for this are currently available.

How would you deal with situations if something were to happen?

If you’re interested in finding out more, we can discuss relevant, practical and theoretical training to help you.