4 Ways to Be Aware of Our Surroundings

By  //  August 14, 2023

With all that’s going on in the world, who hasn’t sought out coping mechanisms? But not everyone has taken to learning a new language, starting a home business, or video-chatting more with their friends. 

Many others have started or increased destructive habits, and some of these people could be those close to you. Unfortunately, some people turn to alcohol or drugs to deal with the pressures and stresses of life. Even if you’re not the one using drugs, there could be dangerous consequences when the people you surround yourself with are using illegal substances. 

You should understand that constructive possession of drugs means you can be charged with a crime even if you don’t have drugs in your possession. It can happen when you are aware of the location or presence of drugs. It’s harder to prove this crime, but a criminal lawyer is needed to help a defendant understand the crime and their legal rights. 

We’ll explain why you should be more aware of your surroundings these days, how mindfulness is connected to awareness, the importance of mindfulness, and tips to better protect yourself.

Why Awareness Is Important 

Situational awareness is essential to protect yourself and your family from bad situations or bad people. Emergencies, disasters, and crimes can happen anytime and anywhere, so it’s important to know your surroundings. Even taxi and Uber safety is a concern. 

Situational awareness doesn’t just mean being aware of your surroundings when walking through a dark alley. It also means at restaurants, your workplace, your car, your home, and the grocery store. Public places aren’t as safe as they used to be, so you must be aware to stay safe.

You should also increase your awareness of other drivers. Driving has decreased in safety as well, as there has been a rise in fatal crashes since COVID-19. The pandemic’s repercussions have led to increased reckless driving, such as speeding and driving while impaired. 

Awareness is also important in emergency situations. You may recognize something happening to someone, or you may be better able to respond to an emergency instead of freezing up. 

Situational awareness can mean the difference between life and death. It’s nothing to be paranoid about or make you feel unsafe in all public places, but it’s an important practice as you go about your daily activities. 


Practicing situational awareness helps cultivate mindfulness in relationships. This technique means being present at the moment. Mindfulness helps you make better decisions, be more present in your daily life, and be aware of what’s going on around you at all times. 

Mindfulness also helps you deal with life’s stressors. This is a better stress-management technique than reaching for harmful substances, such as drugs or alcohol. 

If you’re constantly running on overdrive and autopilot, it can be exhausting. Being mindful can help you stay focused to improve relationships, your safety, your eating habits, and your well-being. 

4 Tips to Protect Yourself

First, remember that situational awareness takes practice. It may seem like it comes naturally to law enforcement or members of the military, but they have been trained and have many years of practicing this skill. Don’t be afraid to take a self-defense or assault prevention course as well. 

#1 – Be Alert

When walking to your car, always have your keys in your hand and be ready to unlock your car. Look inside your vehicle once you reach it to make sure it’s empty. Be ready to quickly get into your vehicle when it’s dark. 

Avoid standing around outside the vehicle looking for your keys. This distraction can make you an easy target for a criminal. 

Make sure you aren’t an easy target, especially if you’re alone. Watch out for those around you and notice all the people around you. Stay in well-lit and busy areas. 

Minimize or eliminate distractions. There’s nothing wrong with being distracted and unwinding when you’re in a safe environment, but it can make you more vulnerable in a public place. If you’re sending a text or browsing social media on your phone, someone could pop up around you, and you may not even notice. 

#2 – Be Careful

Trust your gut and instincts. If something feels off, it probably is. Listen to this intuition and make a good decision on what to do. 

Be careful about whom you let in your vehicle and your home. If you let strangers into one of these places and they are in possession of illegal substances, this could mean trouble for you. 

#3 – Be Observant

Pay attention to body language, expressions, and eye contact, and take note of any details about your surroundings. Knowing your environment may prove helpful if you need a quick exit or something to use for protection.

#4 – Practice 

It takes practice to cultivate situational awareness because it doesn’t come naturally to us. The military and law enforcement go through many hours of training and practice to hone their skills. This practice can lead to you being aware without having to constantly think about doing it. 

Being aware, alert, observant, and careful are all important strategies to protect yourself and your family. There can be legal consequences when you are aware of illegal drugs, even if they aren’t in your possession. Dangerous situations and emergencies can happen anytime, and you have to be the one to protect yourself and your loved ones.

About Author: Melissa Morris writes and researches for the legal and insurance advice site, FreeAdvice.com. She is a university professor of health science and human performance and enjoys researching and writing about mindfulness and awareness.