MIND OVER MAT­TER

KEEP­ING YOUR HEAD CAN BE THE KEY TO SUR­VIVAL.

American Survival Guide - - CONTENTS - By Dana Ben­ner

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

IT’S NAT­U­RAL

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.

IREARMS

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.

SUR­VIVAL 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

GETTY IM­AGES

© GETTY IM­AGES

Floods are of­ten un­pre­dictable and ex­tremely de­struc­tive. Only clear think­ing and fo­cus­ing on your op­tions will see you through a calamity such as this.

© GETTY IM­AGES

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.