Whether you support tighter regulations on guns or feel they should be more easily available to citizens, everyone can agree that a gun in the wrong hands is bad. Many acquire concealed carry licenses so that when the worst happens, they can defend themselves. But the first step towards safety is awareness. Here are a few ways to improve your situational awareness, and be able to pick out a dangerous individual before they even do anything.
These practices are meant to help train your mind to pick out small, and otherwise unnoticed details for the purpose of identifying a threat. How you react to a dangerous scenario is entirely contextual, and something we will cover in a different article.
Make It A Game
The gamification of learning has been a popular topic in psychological foundations. When you make things into a game, it becomes easier to train your mind. Try playing this mental game the next time you go out.
First, pick an item. Try and choose something you’ll expect to see at your destination, but not something you’ll see too much of. Try counting these items. How many dogs did you see? How about red hats? As you do become more and more confident in your skills, pick more common items. Watches, cell phones, etc. Objects seen on or near hands is a good way to get in the habit of watching peoples’ hands. When you notice peoples’ hands, you notice when someone is behaving oddly with them, a common trait of those with a weapon.
Narrate Your Drive
It’s easy to zone out on your commute to work, or your trip to the store. Instead, use this time to practice awareness. Vocally speak out everything you see. “Orange cat on a porch,” for example. Many crimes are committed around vehicles and staying aware when driving might help you see something otherwise missed. Be careful not to focus too much on these practices while driving. A car accident will ruin your day and is generally considered bad awareness.
There’s more around you than just the people. You’re in a dynamic and ever intricate world. Being mindful of potential escape routes is equally important when a potential threat is nearby. How often has the badass protagonist of an action movie remarked about how they sketchy bar they’re entering has only one exit?
One exercise you can do to help improve you escape route awareness is to set a random alarm on your watch or phone. Every time the alarm goes off, scan your surroundings and determine the best escape route as if you were attacked at that moment. with repetition, this will become a habit and you’ll always be ready.
Always win a game of hide and seek, and never be snuck up on by a friend with these nice exercises.