In any disaster scenario, your main task is to stay alive. If you manage to do this, you will be able to take care of the others. Preppeing starts with you, and knowing your limits, assessing your emotions and thoughts is a necessary stage of every emergency preparedness plan. Fear, frustration, guilt or anger are just a few reactions that can work to your downfall. Before anything else, you should prepare yourself and discover who you really are.
When the survivor cannot control his reactions, these reactions will bring him down in a matter of minutes. Guilt, loneliness, depression and anxiety are all common reactions to the stress caused by survival situations. When the world is crumbling around you and threats are everywhere, you don’t want to experience psychological defeat.
Most survival experts claim that survival comes natural to everyone. Even though the modern times are dimming our sense of survival, it can still be found in any of us. While this may be true, I dare to say that being thrust into a life and death situation and struggling to survive is not so natural or common to everyone. You have to be prepared to rule over the natural reactions a disaster brings out in you, and in order to stay alive, you need to prepare yourself.
This is probably one of the most difficult prepping tasks one would face and it’s not about gathering supplies, calculating the budget or bringing family and friends on board with your prepping plans. This is about how you prepare yourself to make sure that your reactions in a survival scenery are productive and not destructive. Heroism and courage are qualities inside you that will be brought out in a time of need if you prepare yourself. You should prepare yourself psychologically for survival and develop the right survival attitude.
To prepare yourself you first have to know yourself
Every person should take some time to discover who they are and this should be a general rule. Knowing what type of person you are will help you develop the areas that you know are necessary to survive. When was the last time you did something brave? Did you ever stood up for something you believe in? These are questions we should all ask ourselves and the answers might surprise us.
Don’t over-think it, look for answers from your day to day life, I’m not asking when was the last time you’ve pulled someone out of a burning building. For example, did you ever intervene between two people fighting or did you stood up in front of your boss and claim recognition for you work? Examples like these can help you discover who you really are. Once you know more about yourself and about the type of person are, you can start to prepare yourself.
If you want to prepare yourself you should anticipate fears
Most preppers I’ve talked to act like there is nothing out there that can frighten them. I somehow find it hard to believe that there are so many fearless people, I can’t help but think that we are just people and not superheroes. Human nature although it can be amazing, it also brings out fears that we never knew we had. The randomness factor plays an important role in every disaster scenario and you might find yourself dealing with a situation that will frighten you.
For example, I’m not very fond of spiders and if I were to bug out to an environment that is home to dangerous spiders, then most probably I would make mistakes just because of my fear of spiders. Don’t pretend that you will have no fear. Think about what frightens you the most if you are forced to survive alone. Just being alone is a fear factor for some. You should know your fears not because you need to eliminate them, but because you have to build confidence and be able to function despite your fears.
Related article: Spider bite guide – Know your Spiders!
You can’t prepare yourself if you are not realistic
If you have the “it’s not so bad” mentality you won’t last for long. You should make a honest appraisal of your situation and think about what you should do next. You should see things as they are and not as you want them to be. If you are stranded, it’s good to hope that someone will come and rescue you, but you need to keep your hopes and expectations within the estimate of your situation. Don’t just hope that help will come, be realistic and build a signal fire, ration your supplies, etc.
We always say “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst” and for good reason. If you are in survival situation and all you have is unrealistic expectations and high hopes, you might get disappointed or worse. If you want to prepare yourself, you should be realistic about your options and about your chances of making it if a disaster happens.
You prepare yourself because you have something to fight for
If you want to build a survival mentality you should always remind yourself what is at stake. At stake is your life, but most importantly, the lives of your loved ones. You prepare yourself psychologically to cope with reactions such as loss of confidence, depression, poor decision-making, inattention and so on. The mind gives up before the body gives in and you need to remind yourself why you are pushing forward. Many survivors described about how they manage to cope with critical situations and push forward through pain because they wanted to see and hold their loved ones. If you have something to fight for that something will give you the strength to move forward.
You can’t prepare yourself if you don’ have a positive attitude
A survival mindset also includes the ability to see the potential good in everything. Having a positive attitude and looking for the good boosts your morale and creates solutions to your problem. This is a proven fact and keeping a positive attitude is excellent for exercising your imagination and creativity. If you keep thinking that nothing works, you are destined to fail. You can’t find the right solution if you don’t have a positive attitude. This is a general mindset and keeping a positive attitude will help you regardless of what you plan to achieve.
If you want to prepare yourself you must train
Training and life experiences prepare yourself for whatever the future will throw at you. Showing yourself that the skills you have can be put to good use will give you the confidence you need to survive. Developing new skills and demonstrating them in training will boost your morale. The more realistic the training, the less overwhelming an actual survival scenario will be. You should find ways to test your skills, you should sign up for survival camps if you can afford it and you should never stop learning. Having a SHTF library will do you no good if you never bother to open the books and be curious to test what you read.
Learn stress management techniques to better prepare yourself
A high level of stress will cause people to panic and if you are not well trained and if you don’t prepare yourself psychologically you won’t be able to face whatever the circumstance may be. You might not be able to control the survival circumstances you find yourself in, but you should be able to control your response to those circumstances. You should enhance your capability to remain calm and focused by learning various stress management techniques. Learning about assertiveness skills, relaxation skills and cognitive restructuring skills will keep yourself and others alive.
Every prepping plan should start with you, the most important and irreplaceable resource. If you can prepare yourself to deal with your emotions and to manage stress levels, you will be able to develop a survival mindset. Anyone can gather water, food and survival supplies, but survival is more than that. All the resources in the world will not help you if you panic or are too scared to use them.
Stay safe and God Bless!
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