How to improve situational awareness

Be aware of your surroundings.

You might have heard this phrase, maybe on social media, news, or as a warning of the threats that may happen to you. And this saying holds a direct relation with a broader concept called situational awareness.

Situational awareness is about reading the situation, comprehending all elements of space, time, activities, relations to other people and objects, and giving predictions.

The concept itself is not only used for personal or public safety purposes but also for the efficiency and effectiveness of decision-making in the work frames of business, military, and governments. So, the question is: How to develop it?

Following are the suggestions mapped on how to improve your situational awareness.

Read more: Situational Awareness: What It Means And How To Apply It In Your Life

1. Keep your mind conscious of your OWN circumstances.

There are stories (also called “dramas”) told everywhere, and some get too attracted to them that they become ignorant of their surroundings.
What is the point in knowing others’ stories just out of amusement and curiosity while knowing nothing about yours? Listening to others’ stories may deliver lessons, however, indirectly.
You gain no chance to practice observing for situational awareness, at all. Hence, recollect your mind, and focus more on YOUR life storyline, YOUR situation.

2. Limit distractions.

Wherever you are heading to, whatever you are doing, whoever you are with, focus on ONE intention only. Once the distractors are in, your brain will not be able to proceed as quickly and precisely as usual. Plus, your senses will be overloaded, which leads to slower reflexes, which can be dangerous in hazard-prone areas.

For instance, when walking on the streets, you had better pay attention to the factors available there, not to the songs playing on your phone or pages of your book.

3. Practice situational awareness with the S.E.A.L. Loop method.

Chris Sajnog, a retired Navy S.E.AL and the founder of the S.E.A.L. training system, has pointed out that this method is the most suitable one to take up if you want to enhance awareness skills.
S.E.A.L. Loop stands for:

  • Sense:
    Not only your eyes but all senses are put into use to detect conditions existing around you, including your instincts.
  • Evaluate:
    Based on what you sense beforehand, you firmly decide what should and should not be carried out.
  • Act:
    Now that you have enough evaluation, it is time to take precise action.
  • Learn:
    By learning about experiences of right and wrong in the past, you make the practice loop itself: keep looking back for lessons to better future decisions.

4. Meditate:

This method may surprise some people, but it actually helps.
Meditation sessions give you time to clear out all the clutter of thoughts, filter trains of information received every day, reframe yourself, and accumulate those powers and abilities inside.
One benefit that stands out is that meditation assists in increasing the concentration zone, which is essential in situational awareness.

5. Use your imagination

Try drawing out in your head a few realistic possibilities that might happen. Be not subjective, assess the details from all angles, and project anything that may come up. Accordingly, you have the most comprehensive evaluations depending on each affair.

That way, you can navigate the best solution for the worst scenario. This is basically how risk management works.

Practice takes time.
Hard work will pay off.
It is impossible to master any skills overnight. Thus, maintain your patience and keep paving your path for the sake of your well-being. The efforts you have

and will put in for situational awareness skills are going to level up your safety in daily life, even promotions in your career.

Read more: Survive In The Woods With Situational Awareness


feet man hiking outdoor with river forest background lifestyle travel survival concept 300x200 - SURVIVE IN THE WOODS WITH SITUATIONAL AWARENESS

Imagine yourself in the infinite wilderness, surrounded by trees and woods all around. Nature might seem like a remedy for the mind of those who have never set a foot in the woods. But for those who have, nature can be just one step away from stumbling into a never-coming back journey. Ever bumped your head into a branch out of nowhere, or tripped over a rock and bruised your knees? The secret to getting out of your dilemma lies within “situational awareness”.



Let’s keep it simple. Situational awareness is the ability to be aware of whatever’s going on around you. It’s the ability to identify all the elements existing, all the actions being taken in your surroundings, and patch them up into a story which then shows all the interaction in between.

Think of it as wearing a new pair of glasses. It’s when you feel like you can see everything and everything just suddenly makes sense!

To be more specific, situational awareness helps you identify all the advantages you can benefit from, and the disadvantages you can avoid in everyday life. Especially when you’re in the woods. It’s the ability to recognize any potential danger that might occur, look for a safe path, and reduce all the risks you might face. It can be as simple as knowing when the rain is coming and as tricky as keeping safe when being chased by a bear.



  1. Start looking

Yes, the view can be great and you might want to start a live stream to announce to everyone that you’re having a wonderful time on the way to the hill. But you’d never know if your next step is going to be right at the edge of a cliff. Practice paying attention to the surroundings and know where you’re going. Always make sure you know the way in and also your way out. Navigating the elements such as trees, water streams, bushes, and boulders… can be a great guide when you get lost. It’s almost impossible to find the way back on an unfamiliar trail when night comes.

  1. Start hearing

Many people like to enjoy their day with a playlist full of motivational soundtracks. That sounds quite amazing when you’re looking forward to reaching the top of a mountain. Yes, pretty amazing until it’s impossible to hear everybody else trying to warn you of something because of the loud music. It’s time to drop your headphones and “look” closely with your ears. Hearing can help you navigate your location and identify threats even from places you can’t see. You don’t have a 360-degree vision but certainly can hear from any direction. Let your hearing be your guidance. Don’t suppress it.

  1. Start analyzing

Looking and hearing are the inputs for your cognitive systems. They help you recognize the potential danger and identify the advantage. But analyzing brings everything to a new level and helps you with making a plan to deal with the problems and utilize your benefit. It’s when situational awareness becomes useful, as it brings all the pieces of information together to form a bigger picture. Remember the bear chase mentioned before? Having good observational skills can help you find a way out of the situation, or even recognize the bear from the beginning, without having to plan an escape.

landscape view man traveler relaxing mountains near tent camping gear outdoor male relaxing after hiking mountain travel lifestyle sport hiking active vacation concept 300x173 - SURVIVE IN THE WOODS WITH SITUATIONAL AWARENESS

So what are you waiting for? Start practicing these simple tips right now is the fastest way to improve your situational awareness. Make it a habit and prepare yourself. The beauty of the wilderness will certainly await those who have prepared.

Read more:

Learn Self-Defense Techniques to Help Keep You Safe: Tips for Women