Do you have enough strength to survive the next coming crisis? This is the one thing you should ask yourself right now. No matter your age, situation, wealth status, etc. No doubt about it, this is a heavy hitting question, not only for the prepper like you and I but for any being with a soul about him. However, as preppers, we should take the question with a particular sense of significance.
You should have a pretty good idea of what you can handle if SHTF, while simultaneously continuing to make yourself stronger than before. There are a slew of ways to go about this.
To simplify things a bit, this article will break it down into two main categories. There are an endless amount of “sub-categories” that may, at times, overlap into both previously mentioned groups.
Let’s start only where we can with the beginning of everything, the Mind.
You can really begin to increase your overall strength by starting in the mind. Your first, ultimate goal should be to fortify your mind prior to SHTF by honing in on your awareness, attention and intention: these are the bulwarks of fortifying your mind.
Again, whether you are wanting to shape up your mind for some future, unnamed crisis or simply attempting to deal with a health problem, there is one thing that you can guarantee: tough times are inescapable. This is when your mental toughness will be most tested.
Without sufficient mental strength, any curveball that life throws at you will fill you with self-doubt, anxiety, fear, distress and nervousness. Those negative, uncomfortable feelings will lead to negative thinking; which is a terrible state to be in when all hell breaks loose.
Reason being, this negative thinking automatically affects your behavior. A negative anything will always bring a negative consequence, every time. Think about how that understanding (or lack thereof) can affect you in a crisis.
In order to stay strong, and if need be, in order to step up to the role of leader, one must manage their thoughts, feelings and behaviors with a keen eye. Taking care of this first, the other “powers” of the mind may be unleashed with relative ease. By being attentive of these three areas alone, you can begin to emanate from your conflicts much stronger than before.
Here are three ways to help develop the strength of your mental game.
1. Accepting reality:
This is key. This doesn’t mean, necessarily, that you agree with the scenario; it simply means you acknowledge it from a realistic perspective. This is key in handling any of life’s situations. This is the first step in deciding how to respond.
Accepting reality is all about recognizing what is in your control. Obviously, many times you can’t control the scenario, but what you can do is focus solely on controlling yourself. You will be amazed at what this alone can do for you in life.
This acceptance of reality will automatically help you manage your thoughts, and in turn, regulate your emotions (which lead us into the second piece of advice…).
2. Behaving productively:
This boils down to the decisions and choices that you make when you are faced with problems. How well you handle this function will determine how quickly you will be able to find a solution. Even in the face of problems that you can’t solve, you still must make choices about how to respond.
Any unproductive behavior, such as whining and moaning, will keep you in a negative vortex that can quickly lead to demise. These behaviors (anything less than good) will rob you completely of your mental strength.
Always ask yourself, just before taking action, “What is the one thing I can do right now to help myself?” While maintaining control of your thoughts and emotions, choose the best behavior that you can muster and take action.
3. Control Upsetting Thoughts:
As you can see, the mind can be your greatest tool or your sworn enemy; the choice is yours. If you fall victim to the smooth lies of our negative thoughts, your own self-limiting beliefs will impede you from achieving your topmost potentiality.
Thinking negative things, thinking “this will not work” or “that will never do” (as innocent as your deceptive negative thoughts can seem) will send you down the wrong split in the path. Take fair warning if your inner soliloquy (the chatter in your head) if it becomes a bit too gloomy or depressed. Simply thinking something does not make it true. Analyze these upsetting thoughts with attentive care.
Suggested reading: Being In Denial – A Disaster Won’t Happen To Me
It is important to keep aware of the choices you are making at all times. This keeps the psyche alert to the temptation of becoming a “wrongdoer” instead of an enlightened, helpful, compassionate being, as we should all strive to become during times of distress.
Once you have gotten a better grip on your mental strength, you will see that other mind-given attributes will come with more ease.
We have a constant need for awareness, especially in times of distress; and being in tune with the functioning of your mind, you will notice your awareness become keener. This awareness will reach all aspects of your “new” perception. Your intentions, goals, and objectives will not only become clearer but will prove to be practical and useful as well.
Build Mental Strength Before Physical Strength Is the Only Choice:
For obvious reasons, while a crisis is happening is not the best time to be attempting to build your mental strength; and physical strength isn’t always going to cut it alone.
This is a process that takes time, patience and strong will. Steadily building your mind’s strength over time can ensure you have to fundamentals required for the scenario you find yourself in. There are surely going to be times when you will need all the mental strength you can possibly rally. It is of dire importance to make mental strength exercise a daily habit.
As in many cases, in survival, brains come before brawn. That being said, your physical condition will also majorly affect how you do during any sort of crisis.
Now, here it takes a strong mind to begin to work on the body. It takes a mind that has overcome its bodies habitual excuses of existence. Once that mind is prepared, you can begin the physical, the body side of things.
Once you begin “training”, you will surely soon recognize the point in all the mind training. It will take a strong psyche, a tough heart, and a superior will to survive as well as a body that is fit and able in order to survive any amount of time in a SHTF scenario.
General fitness includes a multitude of aspects. In order to make it a bit easier to tackle, let’s discuss four main attributes of physical training, how to support them, and then where and how to continue from there. There are many more aspects than four. However, these can be considered the “big ones”:
Strength is your level of ability to produce a great deal of force in order to overcome a certain amount of resistance.
The ability to continuously exert a certain. Amount. Of force for an extended period of time.
Technically, stamina could be considered a combination of both strength and endurance. Stamina is the ability to produce a moderate amount of force over a long period of time. This is not an action you are going to perform once or twice, but something that you are going to be doing for, say, eight hours.
This includes several things. To simplify matters, we will. Define mobility as being. Able to securely move all of your joints through their full range of motion utilizing both strength and stability. Due to mass laziness, in today’s world, we collectively have absolutely terrible mobility. Mobility is potentially the most important aspect of fitness and can make daily life far easier.
These are the specifics that you can begin to train; now you can start to put together a program or focus your activities to strengthen these areas. At minimum, you should attempt to train each of this aspect twice per week. These “training sessions” need not be extravagant feats of muscle shredding power fitness…
Going for a long walk, or doing some pushups and sit-ups, stretching for a spell; all of these take little effort but can produce, after some time, very nice results. Or, if it is more up your alley, you can head straight to the local gym and start slinging plates and dumbbells. It really all depends on where you are in your current level of fitness.
Here is one thing to note: when you are training your physical body, keep in mind that you are training to be a more useful and capable human being. NOT Mr. Universe. When beginning your physical training as a prepper, your best bet is to use the “natural” method of working out whenever it is possible.
Doing things like splitting and hauling wood or hand digging post holes can be part of this method. It is a form of getting exercise while synchronously doing an activity that is productive as well as practical. Do things that require you to use physical effort while supporting chores that must be done anyway.
Do work that will help you strengthen your back and beef up your legs etc. When going for a day hike, use a heavier pack. Use all the natural methods you can to help stimulate your body to adapt and be more proficient in dealing with new stress factors.
Related article: Emergency Preparedness Tactics For Seniors
All that being said, your number one concern when you finally get into “training” should be to focus on your core. The core is where all of your action is produced.
Your first and foremost concern when finally getting into “training” is to focus on your core. This is where all the other action stems from. No, this does not only refer to your abdominals, or, in easier-to-understand terms: the ever-evasive six-pack.
The core is actually made up of many layers and groups of muscles that work together. These muscles keep your lumbar spine safe as well as provide a strong and stable structure in order to transfer your strength between the upper and lower body. So while the abdominal muscles may be important to your core strength, they are not the starts of the show.
Every move you make begins in your core. Take away a stable core, and your body simply cannot suitably stabilize anything else. The point is, even if you are cocked diesel with your cannon-sized arms, with no core strength any other strength is mildly pointless.
The four general aspects of fitness mentioned above cannot be improved upon until the core is also strengthened (depending upon the exercise, this generally takes place simultaneously; unless, of course, you have developed none of them). From the hardened core, you will find, cultivation of strength, the enhancement of stamina, the increase of endurance, and the improvement of mobility.
As a prepper, your focus should be keenly aimed at preparing yourself to become strong enough to be useful to those around you in the times of a crisis. This means having your mind together, and your body fit and ready.
This is not an overnight prep, nor is it a preparation that can be “bought”; it takes good old fashioned hard work (as does anything worth its salt). The points mentioned in this article are simply meant to assist you in the beginning steps of making yourself strong.
The way to go about this will differ by individual and circumstance. No one knows you as you know you, so get out there and get started. The mind and body should be of the utmost priority in preparing for any crisis.
This article has been written by Jonathan Blaylock for Prepper’s Will.