MIND OVER MATTER
KEEPING YOUR HEAD CAN BE THE KEY TO SURVIVAL.
Keeping your head can be the key to survival.
Bad things happen all the time. Some of these incidents are man-made, but most of the time, they are the result of natural events Mother Nature has a habit of throwing us a curve ball every now and again just to keep us on our toes. As evidenced in the hurricanes in Florida and Puerto Rico, the wildfires in the North American West or th volcanoes in Hawaii, you just never know when the ill wind will blow your way or ho bad it will be when it does come.
Will you be ready?
Many articles are written, mine included, that deal with the gear and supplies you should have on hand to enable you to survive. All the information that these articles provide is good, but what many fail to accomplish is to point out that the greates piece of “gear” you have is your brain and the ability to think. All the fancy gear in the world will do you no good if you don’t keep your fears in check. It’s important to remember to slow down and think.
How many times have you heard stories of people needing to be rescued or even dying, despite them being “experienced” outdoorspeople? In most cases, what did them in was their inability to control their fears. They panicked. It is very hard to think critically and solve a problem when you are in a state of panic. It might seem counterintuitive, but you should take a moment and think about the situation before you do anything.
If you feel inclined to condemn anyone who has panicked, just think how you would react if it were almost dark and you found yourself alone on the side of a mountain. To make matters worse, you’ve gotten turned around and aren’t sure where you are. In the process of trying to find the trail, you twisted your ankle.
It is very hard to stay calm in a situation like this, but you have to do it. So before yo judge, remember that you just never know how you will react until something happen
All of us have fears; it’s natural. It’s a defense mode in our brains that dates back to a time when we had to regularly worry about things wanting to eat us. This defense mode is what has kept our species alive for thousands of years. It is exactly because fear is so deeply ingrained in us
that it is very hard to control. But you can control it. It takes a great deal of hard work and discipline to do it, but it can be done.
HOW TO CONTROL YOUR FEAR
Without a doubt, keeping calm in an emergency is a very hard thing to do. The best way to stay calm and use the energy generated by fear for productive work is through training. Military, law enforcement and firefighters are trained to face situations that “normal” people would avoid. These people are trained to run toward danger instead of away from it. Are they afraid? You’re damned right they are! Anyone who says they are not afraid in emergency situations is either a fool or a liar.
So, how do they keep their heads and accomplish their jobs? They train. They train so hard
A LOT OF THINGS WILL BE HAPPENING ALL AT ONCE IN AN EMERGENCY SITUATION, AND YOU CANNOT ANTICIPATE OR CONTROL ALL OF THEM. STAY CALM, SET PRIORITIES AND FOCUS ON THE TASK AT HAND. CONTROL YOUR FEARS; DON’T PANIC. TAKE THE TIME TO STOP AND THINK ABOUT HOW YOU CAN OVERCOME THE CHALLENGES.
hat they just react to a situation. As a result of their intense training, their actions are instincve, relying upon muscle memory. Above all, the training builds confidence—confidence in their bility to handle just about anything that comes their way. They think things through and adapt o changing situations on the fly.
It is impossible to plan for everything that could go wrong; but with that said, with proper raining and the confidence that goes with it, you have the tools to handle what comes your ay. This is a classic example of “mind over matter.” Just because you aren’t a law enforceent officer, a firefighter or warrior doesn’t mean you can’t train, build your knowledge and oost your confidence.
RAIN AND BE PREPARED
How many people have all the “stuff” but have never really used it? More than you might think! ll the gear in the world will do you no good if you don’t have the skills and the confidence to use it ffectively. You owe it to yourself and to those who look to you for protection to train, train, train— nd train some more—with the gear you have. Become an expert and build the confidence needed o help you control your fears. Make your ability to survive second nature. That is what will see you hrough most difficult challenges.
Go out into the “wilderness” and build a shelter. Spend a few nights out under the stars surviving n what you can carry, forage, hunt or fish for. While out there, practice starting fires and filtering ater. Yes, it will be scary and stressful, but with each success, your confidence, knowledge and xperience will build. As that grows, your fear will recede. It really is mind over matter, especially fter you have faith in your abilities.
All too often, I find people with a bunch of guns, but they have never taken the time to properly learn ow to use them. In a situation during which they might need to use those firearms to either defend hemselves, their family or to put food on the table, they will be more dangerous to themselves than o any threat or any potential food source.
If you don’t know how to properly use a firearm or don’t have confidence in your ability to use one, here are two things you can do: Learn how to properly use a firearm, or leave the use of firearms o others. It is better to have only one or two firearms and know how to use them properly than to ave 20 and not be proficient with any of them.
If you choose to own and carry a firearm, at least take a training course. Many gun ranges offer ourses that go all the way from basic ownership to advanced personal defense. For example, anchester Firing Line (Manchester, New Hampshire), where I shoot, offers an excellent choice of lasses (see the sidebar on page 86). I’m sure you can find some good options wherever you live. Once you’ve taken the courses, get on the range and shoot. The more you shoot, the better you will get and the more confidence you will have More confidence equals less fear and panic when the time comes to use those skills.
OK; you’ve got all the “stuff”; you have read all the books and magazine articles, and you have watched all the survival shows on television. You are now ready to be dropped into th middle of nowhere or face some sort of natura disaster and expect to survive, right? Wrong!
Many knowledgeable preppers and survivalists agree that as much as 90 percent of survival is a mental game. The skills we discus in articles are applicable in a wide range of situations, but each situation in which you fin
Floods are often unpredictable and extremely destructive. Only clear thinking and focusing on your options will see you through a calamity such as this.
Right: Grief, fear and anger are among the first reactions to a situation like this. While that is natural, whether you regain composure and overcome the challenge is up to you.
First responders are able to react to situations as horrible as this without panicking because of their training, experience and confident mindset.