Survival is a state-of-mind, first and foremost. When under the unexpected stress of a life-threatening situation, being prepared mentally is the first key to survival.
First, stay calm. Assess what you’re up against. You may not have much time to think, but not taking the time to really assess the situation can make matters worse. If you must react without thinking, do it 100%. Commit to the act and then assess.
Believe in yourself. When fear and panic sets in, doubt and uncertainty will eventually follow. You must always believe in yourself and what you’re capable of. If you have a hard time believing in your ability to survive, then think of those who are depending on you for protection and their survival. You may be the strongest asset your loved ones have and they are counting on you. You must believe you can not only survive the traumatic event, but also believe that you are fighting for a higher cause… the survival of loved ones.
Turn panic and fear into energy and even anger, if necessary. When confronted with a threat, one must stop and turn that fear and panic into an “animalistic” state of survival. The threat needs to be seen through the eyes of a hunter, a savage beast that will do anything to protect themselves and their loved ones. In the end, it’s going to come down to who wants to live more — you or them. Aggression and clarity as to what you must do is of the utmost importance. The threat has put you in a situation that isn’t normal and now you must act. Do not stop until the threat is eliminated and everyone is safe.
Always maintain the will to survive. Survival is a state of mind. Not even for one second can you believe death is upon you. You must always have a positive state of mind even in the worst of situations. Some choose to use humor and sarcasm to stay positive. Use whatever method you will to keep your spirits high and maintain a positive outlook on life and survival.
Adapt and overcome any situation. There is always a solution. You must seize the opportunity and take it, even if the odds are stacked against you. Survival becomes a game of numbers. Sometimes inaction will decrease the chances of survival. Allowing nature to take its course may not yield the desired outcome. One must seize the moment and take a chance on survival rather than hoping someone will come save you. Having a 1% chance of surviving a traumatic event still means you have that opportunity. Take it, it’s yours!
Train and Workout. Practice makes perfect. Depending on your resources, one must constantly think of keeping their skills sharp and ready. Good health, staying in shape and training will keep your mindset right and give you a break from the constant every day struggles. It can even be a stress reliever and provide focus and clarity. Hours of training can make the difference in a 10 second fight.
Be productive. In times of survival, everything you do counts. You don’t have the time, resources, or energy to do things without purpose. Your mindset should be on productivity and making the best out of the time you have. You must be thinking at least 5 days ahead of survival. What are you trying to accomplish that will keep you and your loved ones safe and alive. Being productive is a part of being self-sufficient and having that survival mindset.
Have goals. What are you trying to achieve? It can be something as simple as surviving until help arrives, keeping your family safe, etc. Think about what you’re trying to accomplish and work on it.
Stay Vigilant. Emotions can get the best of us regardless of how prepared you may think you are. A person must confront and manage emotions head on in order to keep up their momentum and not go into panic mode. Emotions will not only to take advantage of a person’s strengths, but can exacerbate weaknesses in a time of crisis. Using these emotions as an advantage requires great concentration and control, because too much of these stresses can cause distress and even paralyzing fear. Nature can be a cruel and unforgiving place to be in when facing it on your own or when others depend on you and your knowledge for survival.
Depression and loneliness can set in and the act of giving up hope only approaches that much faster. The focus shifts from surviving and maintaining health in order to get out alive, to being convinced there is no way out. There’s always a way out, a solution to any problem. You have to remember to keep hope alive and think positive no matter the adversity of the situation. Remember, survival is a state of mind.
Without the proper mental preparation for what’s at stake, one can succumb to the traumatic event, shock, panic, fear, all of which can make the difference between life and death. An individual can have all the skills in the world but if they can’t control the mental, physical or emotional anguish of the moment and rise to the occasion, panic will set in and all could be lost.