(Modern Survival.org) – Survival is a state of mind, first and foremost. Being mentally prepared is the key to surviving the unexpected stress of a life-threatening situation. After all, fancy gear and stockpiles of supplies won’t save you if you give up when the going gets tough.
When facing an emergency, there are a few things to remember to help you maintain the survival mindset.
- Stay calm. Panic leads to mistakes, and mistakes can be fatal in an emergency situation. Assess what you’re up against. You may not have much time to think, but not taking the time to assess the situation can make matters worse. If you must react without thinking, do it 100%. Commit to the act, then assess later.
- Believe in yourself. When fear and panic set in, doubt and uncertainty will eventually follow. The worse the situation is, the more likely you are to succumb to negative thoughts. 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 own 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 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 their 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 are 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. Do whatever it takes to keep your spirits high and maintain a positive outlook on life and survival.
- Adapt and overcome. Survival requires being radically adaptive in an ever-changing and unfamiliar situation. You must seize every opportunity to overcome the odds and survive, even if the odds are stacked against you. There is always a solution—sometimes, you just can’t see it right away. Even having a 1% chance of surviving a traumatic event still means you have an opportunity to overcome it. Take it, it’s yours!
- Remain active and decisive. Sometimes, inaction can decrease your chances of survival. For example, waiting for someone else to save you could cost you precious time, energy, and resources needed to survive. You must seize each moment as it comes, remaining active and decisive rather than waiting passively for help that might not arrive. By the same token, some situations require you to wait for help. Use your survival knowledge, instincts, and discernment to remain alert and as safe as possible during that time.
- Set goals. What are you trying to achieve? Your goal can be something as simple as finding shelter, keeping watch while your family sleeps, cooking your next meal, purifying fresh drinking water, or remaining alert until medical assistance arrives. Think about what you’re trying to accomplish, then work toward that. Having a specific goal keeps your mind focused on the task at hand, and prevents your thoughts from wandering into despair. Remember, without a goal, you are working toward nothing.
- Train your survival skills. Practice makes perfect. The more you train your survival skills, the more confident you will become. Arm yourself with the essential knowledge to survive by reading survivalist books and learning the basics of staying alive during a natural disaster or emergency scenario. Make a survival plan for yourself and your family, then learn it by heart. Learn how to use your gear so you’ll be prepared if disaster strikes.
- Build physical strength. Work out and strengthen your body so you’ll be energized and prepared for anything. Physical activities can even relieve stress and provide focus. Not only will training your body help you maintain good health, but staying in shape and practicing survival skills will give you an edge in any emergency. Plus, hours of training can make a world of difference in a 10-second fight to defend yourself or your family.
- Be productive. Being productive is a part of being self-sufficient and developing a survival mindset. In a true survival situation, everything you do counts. Your mindset should be on productivity and making the best out of the time you have. You don’t have the time, resources, or energy to do anything without purpose. At all times, you must be thinking at least 5 days ahead. What are you trying to accomplish that will keep you and your loved ones safe and alive?
Emotions can get the best of anyone, regardless of how prepared they may think they are. We must confront and manage emotions head-on in order to keep up the momentum and avoid going into panic mode.
Uncontrolled emotions will not only take advantage of a person’s strengths but can exacerbate weaknesses in a time of crisis. Learning to use these emotions as an advantage requires great concentration and control. Allowing stresses to creep in, such as fear, panic, anger, and despair, can lead to paralyzing depression.
Depression and loneliness are real threats in a long-term survival scenario. Giving up hope only amplifies the damage they will do to your psyche. When you give up hope, your focus shifts from surviving and maintaining health to being convinced there is no way out alive. The truth is, there’s almost always a way out, and a solution to any problem. You have to remember to keep hope alive and think positively, no matter the adversity of the situation. Remember, survival is a state of mind.
Without the proper mental preparation for what’s at stake, shock, panic, fear, and despair will set it—which can mean the difference between life and death. An individual can have all the skills and gear 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.
To learn more about how to develop mental grit and a survival mindset, click here.
~Here’s to Your Survival!
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