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Being and feeling safe from physical or emotional harm is an important human need. This includes in our own homes, neighborhoods and relationships, as well as feeling safe from the government, discrimination, violence and crime. It also means feeling safe and secure in our ability to meet and obtain our basic needs. When we are not feeling safe, our survival instincts kick in. And when survival instincts are engaged for long periods of time, it can cause long-term physical, mental, emotional and spiritual damage. 


Signs of Optimal Health & Wellness

Indicators of thriving include:

  • Feeling safe in one’s own home
  • Feeling safe in one’s own neighborhood
  • A general sense of feeling safe from violence and crime
  • Ability to walk down the street and participate in the community without fear of violence, government retribution or discrimination
  • Confidence in being able to obtain employment and meet basic needs
  • Ability to feel hope, and a sense of peace and calmness
  • Ability to focus on higher pursuits
  • Overall thriving in physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health
  • Ability to address issues or threats with positive action

Warning Signs

Warning signs include:

  • High levels of stress, anxiety or depression
  • Feeling afraid, insecure or unsafe
  • Increased feelings of helplessness or despair
  • High levels of aggression towards others
  • Emotional or physical abuse is present at home or in relationships
  • Experiencing or awareness of increased neighborhood or community violence and crimes without any action to correct it in positive ways
  • Experiencing acts of discrimination or violence, or awareness of discrimination and violence against others who are similar to you in some way without any action to correct it in positive ways
  • Fear of government or government agents (i.e. police or politicians) without any action to correct it in positive ways
  • Low self-confidence, fear of the future, an inability to see past current situation
  • Increase in addictions
  • Willingness to engage in criminal activities
  • Engagement in oppression of self or others
  • Constant pessimism, inability to perform daily routines
  • No longer able to dream, make goals, or be creative


Feeling safe in all areas of our lives is important to maintaining overall physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health and wellbeing. Ask yourself: Do I feel safe at home? Do I feel safe in my relationships? Do I feel safe in my neighborhood? Do I feel safe from the government? Do I feel safe and secure at work? Do I feel confident in my ability to move about freely and secure my own basic needs? If any of these answers are no, it might be cause for action.

Hope is always the antidote to fear and feeling and unsafe. Counteracting fear with faith and hope can help to address immediate racing thoughts. In some cases, self and community affirmation can also be helpful. Thinking about past situations when you felt safe, and recognizing who or what made you feel safe can help you decide on paths forward.  And surrounding yourself with people and situations where you feel wanted, needed and valued can restore a sense of safety and familiarity necessary to cope and take action.

Positive stimulations such as prayer, meditation and counseling can also help you take decisive action to overcome fear, or to actively address immediate issues because you have faith in a positive outcome. 




  • Personal hygiene and meeting the immediate needs of air, water, nutrition and activity can help to guide mental and emotional clarity
  • Engage in spiritual practices
  • Active engagement in positively addressing issues
  • Seek help when needed


In some cases, it’s important to take action because feelings of unsafety are rooted in real and actual threats to health, safety and wellbeing. In addition, putting nervous or fear-based energy towards a positive outcome can alleviate feelings of helplessness or despair.




If you are have been a victim of violence or are being threatened with violence: 

  • Dial 911; or 
  • Go the nearest hospital emergency room





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