Make an effort to be aware of yourself, of your physical surroundings, of the mood of your environment, and of the people around you. It’s important to train for physical fitness. It’s great to develop solid physical self-defense, martial arts, or close quarter combat skills. But mental and emotional readiness is essential for your safety. Train your senses and your awareness. Your best protection against violence is to avoid or evade it. If you can’t do that, escape. If you have no other option, and you decide to fight, you must commit 100%. Become the attacker. For each one of these options – avoidance, evasion, escape, and counter-attack- awareness is key.
Use your senses to be aware – sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste. Use your gut reactions. We get messages from inside and outside of our bodies. Pay attention to all of them.
As you leave the security of your home (assuming you have a safe home, which isn’t the case for everyone), first check in with yourself. Ask yourself, “Am I focused on what I’m doing? What’s my mood? How am I feeling physically and mentally? Am I paying attention to the people around me, my surroundings? Is anything distracting me? Am I objectively assessing the person I’m dealing with right now, whether this is a stranger or a person that I know somehow.”
Make an effort to begin each day with a commitment to yourself to be aware. Check in with yourself throughout the day. Make it a habit to be aware.