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MATRIX Virtual Wellness Event: Situational Awareness





On Thursday, March 18, MATRIX had its first Virtual Wellness Event of 2021. Speaking to 36 guests, Officer Linstad of the Manchester NH Police Department presented a detailed study on the importance of situational awareness and how the human body reacts under stress. Linstad's focus was on brain reaction when there is an instant onset of stress, i.e. dangerous situations, during an emergency, attack, or accident. Training ourselves for these situations can be life saving.

Officer Linstad speaking about the emotional brain

When asked the question “What would you do?” we all can answer how we think we would handle a situation, even a dangerous one. This is a cognitive thought that exists in our brain's frontal lobe. In a stressful situation our body reacts quickly. All cognitive thoughts cease and we have what is simply called “Lizard Brain” where the brain relies on what it was trained to do without thinking.


Situational awareness isn't just about being aware of what's going on around you. It is thinking and preparing ahead in order to avoid a problem. Linstad gives a great example we can all relate to: driving in bad weather.


Awareness is knowing there’s a storm.


Situational Awareness is slowing down, being cautious of road conditions, turning on your lights, etc.


But just how aware are we? Very often it's not just attention span but also where we focus our attention. “Inattentional Blindness”, as Linstand put it, happens when an individual fails to see something in plain sight, purely as a result of a lack of attention.

By paying attention to situations beyond your immediate focus, you can eliminate any chance of being caught off guard.


A great way to train yourself is by taking four steps to create situational awareness. Observe, Orient, Decide and Act.


Observe your surroundings.

Orient yourself with the information observed.

Decide on the best option

Act accordingly.


Continual training and preparation can result in a mind that reacts naturally and successfully in dangerous situations.



If you are interested in watching the video from this event, please contact employeerelations@matrixpmo.com for a link to the video.





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