Individual Precaution Against Terrorist Threats


Terrorist attacks such as the one carried out in the UK are a real and serious danger to public safety. On Monday 22nd May 2017, twenty-two people lost their lives in a suicide blast at the Manchester Arena following the Arian Grande concert. Prime Minister Theresa May raised the threat level in the UK to the highest rating. As law enforcements authorities continue their investigation into Monday’s events, there are mixed sentiments in the general public.

It isn’t just Manchester though; this comes in the wake of other European targets such as Paris, Stockholm, London and Berlin in recent weeks as well as Egypt and holiday resorts in Tunisia and Turkey. The threat is Global.

So what do we do? Do we have dramatic lifestyle changes or try and carry on our lives as normal? There is no simple answer but we examine some precautions that everyone can take.

The terror threat to the individual is very real and given how terrorists identify and select targets, it is justifiable to be wary of crowded places. However, the fight against terrorism has to be an inclusive operation where a due emphasis is placed on individual awareness. Here are several terrorist threat precautions and personal protection measures that you should implement.

1. Understand Target Selections 

Start by considering how a person might actually become a victim of a terrorist attack. Terrorists seem to consider location and opportunity when planning out attacks. Locations where a large number of people gather are high on the list. These include public transportation centres, shopping centres, nightclubs and concert amenities. 

You should maintain heightened awareness in these locations. Report any observed suspicious behaviour or activity to the security authorities then leave immediately. Terrorist also seem to look for soft targets’. Soft targets are people or facilities that are perceived to pose a good chance of a successful attack or low risk of security force interference.

2. Stay Informed

Make it a habit of tuning in to local radio and television news stations regularly. Learn more about your community’s public warning system such as sirens or telephone call-down systems. Evacuation and sheltering policies may change depending on the terror alert levels. 

Talk about the fears of terrorism with the members of your community and focus on the importance of sharing information about suspicious activity. It helps to have a proactive mind-set about the security environment where you live, work and travel.

3. Situational Awareness

Situational can greatly reduce casualties during an attack or even prevent the attack. Take note of your surroundings as you go about your daily business. When attending large events, pay particular attention to everything happening around you at all times in order to identify unusual activity. Learn how to spot suspicious packages and luggage abandoned in crowded places.

4. Take What You Hear Seriously

If you happen to know or hear of an individual who has talked about or mentioned plans to harm citizens even in passing, please take note. Be vigilant of anyone who hints at membership to a terrorist organisation, local or otherwise. Take it seriously and report it to police immediately.

5. Avoid Stereotyping

Stereotyping is common following terror attacks. When searching for suspicious activities, always avoid stereotyping individuals based on appearance, race, religion, gender and other classifications. Many people allow personal bias and prejudice to influence how they perceive other citizens. This is simply wrong, does not increase safety and can lead to mistakes being made.

6. Exercise Caution

In case you encounter suspicious activity, always be careful not to draw attention to yourself. You should avoid taking action on your own or placing yourself in harm. In an emergency situation, alert the security authorities immediately.

One great tip is recording any information gathered as soon as possible. Jot down the information on a piece of paper or on your mobile phone. It is nearly impossible to avoid large events or crowded places entirely. As such, the best course of action would be practice individual awareness.

And remember, Mayfair Cares.

21st Century Illnesses

Is Technology Making You Anxious?                                   

A new epidemic is sweeping the country — and it's being fueled by social media.

Websites like Instagram and Facebook are causing users serious stress, resulting in a spike in anxiety and psychological disorders. This new type of 21st-century illness often impacts teenagers and young adults who use online platforms several times a day.

Research shows that excessive social media image could result in poor body image and feelings of insecurity. So, what's going on?

The Link Between Social Media and Stress

Several studies have looked at the link between social media and stress.

One study looked at how Facebook could cause depressive symptoms in some users [1]. Perhaps this is because of peer pressure. Some young adults post every aspect of their life online, leaving their friends to play "catch-up." What's more, Photoshopped images on social networks like Instagram and Twitter can result in young adults feeling seriously inadequate.

All this may spill over into an even more dangerous territory, with some social media usage resulting in eating disorders and mental health conditions. 

What Can Be Done?

There are a number of ways young adults can curb their social media usage.

Restricting the amount of time they spend on websites like Pinterest and YouTube might solve the problem. In addition, there are various coping mechanisms that help people deal with conditions like stress and anxiety.

Healthcare experts recommend healthy eating and working out as a way to banish the blues [2]. This is because regular exercise releases endorphins, also known as the body's feel-good chemicals. This can help regulate mood and assist social media users with stress.

Other Healthcare Concerns and 21st-Century Illnesses 

The rise of digital media has benefited people and businesses around the world. However, there are a number of drawbacks associated with this recent technology. Some people who frequent websites like Twitter and Facebook might be exposed to cyberbullies, who torment them on these sites. Again, this can have a significant effect on the mental health of some young adults and result in feelings of depression and anxiety. Healthcare experts recommend that people should report cyberbullies.

Conclusion

There is a raft of stressors that are unique to the 21st century. These include the rise of social media sites, which can sometimes cause people to feel anxious, especially if they are exposed to cyber bullies.

It's not all doom and gloom however, social media provides users with a plethora of benefits. People can communicate with friends and family around the world, make new connections and keep their contacts updated with life events. 

Everything in moderation – including social media,

Remember, Mayfair cares

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References:


[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4183915/

[2] 
www.telegraph.co.uk/men/active/how-to-beat-stress-a-complete-and-relaxing-guide/

The benefits of listening


 

It is Mental Health Awareness month and we want to emphasise how little things can go a long way in making people feel better about themselves – we examine the importance of listening first up.

A friend in need

If you are more of a listener than a talker, you've probably been told on more than one occasion that you're a good friend.

When you take the time to listen you're giving the other person your full attention, which is often all that is needed. But there are other good reasons to stop and listen more.

Are you feeling down?

Pop in your ear phones during your lunch break and go for a walk. Researchers found that listening to music can lift your mood.

The best type of music to listen to? One study found those who listened to tunes that were ‘beautiful but sad’ noticed the greatest improvement in their mood.

Need to focus?

If you're studying after work it can be very hard to concentrate. Listening to the sound of birds singing could be the answer according to a study. It works because birdsong has been shown to relax you physically and stimulate your brain at the same time. Exactly the state of mind you need to be into focus.

You can try this out with an app called study available free from the App Store and Google play.

Workplace stress?

Listening can play an important role in helping you defuse tension at work. Most people appreciate having supportive and understanding colleagues. Whether you're a manager or a team member others will find great value in having a person around to actively listens and shows understanding.

Listening is a skill – here are some pointers.

  • Pay attention – face the speaker and give them your undivided attention. Don't look at your Watch phone or other people.
  • Be attentive but relaxed - it's okay to look around from time to time when you're while you're listening. Too much I contact can be unnerving for the person doing the talking.
  • Keep an open mind – listen without judgement or jumping to conclusions.
  • Don't interrupt or offer solutions – if someone wants advice they last for it.
  • Give regular feedback – nodding, smiling or using words and sounds of encouragement will make the talker aware that you're actively listening

‘When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen’ – Ernest Hemingway

Remember, Mayfair cares

 

Activity and state of mind


By now you already understand that exercise makes you stronger, keeps your weight in check, and keeps you looking and feeling youthful. But did you know that exercise can actually make you happier and more cheerful?

When you work out in the gym, go running or do some aerobic exercise, it’s not by coincidence that you feel less anxious, less stressed and generally happier.

Researchers at the University of Cambridge have revealed that when people get up and move, even just a little, they become happier compared to their counterparts with sedentary lifestyles.

Generally, exercise boosts your happiness chemicals, energizes you, boosts your confidence, eases anxiety and fights insomnia. So, how do you incorporate more movement and you sedentary or otherwise less active lifestyle?

Here are some quick tips to incorporate movement into your sedentary lifestyle.

Don’t park your car too close to your destination

We instinctively try to find parking space as close to our destination as possible. This, however, denies us a chance to incorporate movement into our daily activities.

To take advantage of this opportunity, try developing a habit of parking your car a block or two away from your destination, or at the very least park at a slot furthest from the door.

Take The Stairs

Seize every opportunity to take stairs as opposed to a lift / elevator, especially if your destination is only one or two flights up. If your destination is a little further than 3rd floor, then you can use both the stairs and an elevator. You can walk up two or three flights then ride an elevator for the rest of the way.

You can increase the number of flights as you become stronger and more active. 

Walk or Bike to Work

This mode of transport may not be possible for everyone, but if there is any chance you can make it happen, then you will find it much easier transforming from a sedentary lifestyle to a more active and happier one.

You can support this initiative with ergonomic products such as quality walking shoes, or a good quality bike for maximum comfort and safety.

Choose Active Vacations

As you incorporate more movement into your daily activities at home and work, your desire to go an extra mile will increase.

You will start looking forward to holidays and vacations as an opportunity to further live an active lifestyle. So instead of retreating to a spa or a beach, you can choose more active adventures such as hiking, biking, camping, skiing and so on.

If you are touring a new city, choose to walk around and explore instead of driving. If you are staying at a resort, you can take advantage of their fitness centre and their pool to kick out the sedentary culture and stay happier and cheerful.

Remember, Mayfair cares