National Situational Awareness Day

Situational Awareness or simply known as mindfulness. Oswald Boelke coined it during World War I, referring to an allies’ need to assess risks before the enemy achieves the upper hand, allowing us to devise action plans as necessary. This day came to be official on 26th December 2015, declared by the Registrar at National Day Calendar.

The aim of officiating National Situational Awareness Day was literally to spread awareness on being aware. Besides the ability to pick up on slight changes in our immediate environment, these survival skills are culminated to avoid harm that may come in various manners, mainly referring to physical aspects.

In lieu of Wawasan 2020 and having raced 20 years into the 21st century, humans have booked our seats on the bullet train of the rat race yet still find ourselves falling short of personal success. What does this have to do with personal safety?

Mindfulness is a method of keeping one’s mind on track with each task. Constantly reflecting on your priorities assures a state of action instead of reaction. We can apply the same ideologies practiced by early days of law enforcement and military whilst replacing the immediate risks they encounter with the industrial risks the average person faces.

Situational awareness reminds us to make focused decisions in all aspects of life and coordinating our actions according to our ability to foresee possible setbacks. This is our way of preparing ourselves from stumbling in adversity.

If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail

Benjamin Franklin

Methods of Mindfulness

Fortunately, mindfulness is one our basic human skills and is very easy to master; all you need is time to practice it, otherwise known as pure interest

1. The Body Scan

If you’ve tried meditation, you’d be familiar with this concept of physical mindfulness. This method is an acquired taste to most who have tried it but many attest that this is where practice comes in. The Body Scan requires the individual to lie down or sit with eyes closed and feet comfortably apart. It helps to listen to a ready-made video

2. The Self-Compassion Pause

This technique involves awareness to one’s emotions towards themselves. This exercise inverts your feelings of kindness and understanding your negative thoughts instead of belittling them. Self-empowerment is a motivational tool that drives an individual towards focusing on their mental health in a positive manner. The test concludes with admitting tough truths about your situation that is causing you to suffer.

The aim is not to become overwhelmed by the pain or emotion, but rather to acknowledge it as real and hurtful while giving yourself permission to feel it
3. Mind Your Temper

Situational Awareness is particularly used for immediate instances, but rarely executed when we ourselves cause harm to the situation. Anger, unlike sadness, causes us to react and more often than not, in detriment to our identity or circumstance. This exercise walks you through a thought process that calls for awareness of the trigger and how your body manifests anger physiologically, ie: temperature changes throughout certain body parts. Just like nurturing self-criticism, understand and accept your anger as a natural human reaction and possibly a cover for other more “shameful” or vulnerable emotions like guilt, shame and sadness. Then, as quickly as it comes, let the emotion go so you’re able to come up with an action plan in a calm state. Rest in your breath as you take time to regain composure. Show compassion to yourself in anger. Respect your emotions.

The game-plan we promote is an approach to stress, expectations, and worldly pressures; to take a moment to assess your stand in the situation. Some say that Situational Awareness is the key to adequate preparation in making impactful decisions. Take the time to breathe, mind yourself before you mind at all and nothing will take you by complete surprise to throw you off your game.

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