How do you respond to threat perception? I spent some time observing Dall Sheep, and decided I could learn a few things from them. #threatperception #responsetothreat #selfcare #selfcarehacks #frightorflightorfreeze #responsetodanger #dallsheep #podcast

How do you respond to threat perception? I spent some time observing Dall Sheep, and decided I could learn a few things from them.

How do You Respond to Threat Perception?

“Why didn’t the school call me right when it happened?” The anguished parent wanted to know. “Maybe I could have made it in time to hold my child’s hand.”

The question haunts me. Did the adults at the scene want to wait to inform parents until the EMTs arrived? Were they busy protecting the other students involved and offering first aid to the injured? In the confusion of a disastrous semi-vs. school bus crash, how does one prioritize responses to disaster?

I know the school called parents. But I know students called their parents and texted their classmates long before I even knew about the crash.

I’d like to think I’d remain cool-headed during a crisis, but I’ve only experienced low-level disasters. No food and 40 hungry students. Squirrels eating half the bread set out for supper. Bears on the trail. I can remain calm during those situations.

How do you respond to threat perception? Small threats or ones where someone’s life hangs in the balance? I’d like to think I can prepare ahead of time for facing different kinds of threats without living in constant fear of perceived threats.

In fact, I’ll imagine a worst-case scenario and walk myself through the steps I should take. I imagine myself calmly telling students to back away slowly while I pull out the bear spray to spray an approaching bear. Or I imagine breaking the windows in my submerged car and swimming to safety. So far, only one of these two scenarios has ever taken place.

Danger threatens us from all sides. Our response to it determines whether we feel constantly stressed or relatively calm. I spent time observing Dall sheep in Denali National Park a few years ago. Their response to threat perception can teach us a lot.

How do you respond to threats? Have you ever thought through worst-case scenarios?

Show Notes

Some people use guided imagery to help them through stressful situations.

There’s even a WorstCase Scenario game if you’d like to learn how to respond to dangerous situations.

Or the Worst-Case Scenario book might be your cup of tea.

How do you respond to threat perception? I spent some time observing Dall Sheep, and decided I could learn a few things from them. #threatperception #responsetothreat #selfcare #selfcarehacks #frightorflightorfreeze #responsetodanger #dallsheep #podcast

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  1. Great post Anita! I too have taken myself through worst case scenarios often watching those documentaries that take you through such scenarios.
    Although, when faced with real life situations, we can react differently. At times much better then we had imagined!
    Bless you,
    Tea With Jennifer recently posted…A profound conversationMy Profile

  2. Another wonderfully helpful and through provoking post, Anita. I have allowed my brain to go to those places of extreme danger and threats and my mind can never process it without panic. So I don’t allow that stuff to take up too much of my brain power. However, when I have been in situations where a quick and level headed response is needed, I have surprised myself at how calmly I have handled it. Although I do engage in much self talk to keep myself calm and level headed. Thanks for sharing this!


  3. You’ve made me thing, Anita! I think I am calmer to threats when others are around (when I need to take leadership). But on my own…I can panic more. Isn’t that interesting?

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Anita Ojeda

Anita Ojeda juggles writing with teaching high school English and history. When she's not lurking in odd places looking for rare birds, you can find her camping with her kids, adventuring with her husband or mountain biking with her students.

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