The Psychology of Survival | You Can Do It All-Part 1

You can do it all. The Psychology of Survival

Every person has their own definition of acceptable risk. People I know who believe that if you don’t live on the edge, then you are taking up too much space. Base jumping in blinding fog at night is a thrilling experience for them. Others would be astonished at the prospect of an overnight camping trip in Yellowstone. It is bear country. They are content to watch the entire thing on National Geographic TV and not have to deal with the dangers of living in dangerous areas.

Most people enjoy adventure levels that are somewhere in between these two. We love to explore the natural world. We are okay with the fact that some things happen in the great outdoors. We are respectful of the power of nature, and we take precautions to avoid serious harm to it. However, we also prepare for emergency situations that may arise.

If things get too complicated, our anxiety levels can rise and we feel anxious or worried about the future. This is actually a good thing. If we pay attention, the warning voice in our backs is a survival mechanism that keeps us safe from trouble. However, anxiety must be controlled. Or we will get into more trouble.


The Psychology of Survival  You Can Do It All-Part 1

We can quickly go from mild anxiety to panicky fear, then to paralyzing hopelessness or panic if we don’t control our emotions. When we get to this point, our ability to deal with the situation is compromised and we make poor decisions that can lead to disaster. Our chances of survival decrease if we are alone. We must control our emotions and take control of our fears. We can overcome our fears by joining a group that has a calm leader who is still able to control our emotions. He/she has been through it all before and knows what the future holds.

Our mental state is a major factor in our ability to survive. There are also physical elements (the need to shelter, fire, water and food). However, a psychological breakdown can severely limit your ability to provide these things for yourself. You can’t make a decision if you feel hopeless or at the bottom of your emotions. Your ability to move forward and take the next steps is affected by mind-numbing fears that keep you from moving forward. Fear is what causes this mental paralysis. It is not related to the reality of the world around you.

Many people fear being alone in the darkness. It is possible to be alone in darkness without being dangerous. However, it can cause you to run wild in the dark and become a target for a man wearing a hockey mask with a bloody hatchet.

You can see that my point is that your reactions to your fears are what creates the greatest danger. You are not at risk if you make a camp site and then go to bed until the morning. If you become paralytically ally numb, like a child who dances in the middle because he knows that he won’t make it to the toilet in time, or panic and run down the trail as though your hair was on Are, anxiety will win to your detriment.

What can you do to overcome your fears? There are two ways to overcome your fears. The first is a lobotomy. The second is practice. You can choose to slowly, but safely, de-sensitize your brain by being exposed to situations that cause fear. Exposure to risky situations gradually lowers anxiety until the situation that once caused fear and trembling now brings joy and a big smile. Positive self-talk can be helpful: “Yes it’s dark, I’m alone, however that won’t hurt. You can make camp until you’re tired. Then, go to bed and get up the next morning.

How to overcome anxiety

It is true that survival situations are determined by what’s between your ears. Sometimes, the key to survival is making one wrong decision or one mistake in judgment. Or losing your ability to deal emotionally and mentally with stressful circumstances.

People can start to feel helpless when they suddenly realize how far from civilization they are and how desperate the situation is. Fear is the enemy that prevents you from taking the necessary actions to keep yourself alive. People panic when confronted with a potentially dangerous situation. People panic when they are faced with a potentially dangerous situation. They either do the wrong thing, or they do nothing. This is often because they have never had to deal with these situations before and don’t know how to handle them. Fear and ignorance combined with inexperience can lead to this.

Gaining practical experience in survival situations is the best way to avoid panic and fear. You can’t beat hands-on experience and time on the ground combined with as much reading as you can. Because you are exposed to survival situations in which you can face new challenges and still be safe, outdoor survival classes are an excellent option. You will be less afraid the more you know. The calmer you are, the less you fear.

It is possible for others to influence you to be calm if you are calm. Others will feel more confident if you have a calm and confident demeanour.

It is easy to see panic rising among your group members. Take a look at their eyes. If they are slipping into emotional turmoil, their eyes will be wide-eyed. They will shift their gazes from one side to the other as if trying to escape. If you can see their shaking voice or hear them quavering, there are ways to keep them calm. Keep your voice in control. You should not shout or blame others. Use a calm, confident tone when speaking and be positive about the outcome. Your behavior and how you speak can have a significant impact on the mood of others at the party. Make sure that you are positive in all things you do.

  • Encourage unity of purpose through working as a team to create a plan. You can get everyone involved, and they will be more focused on a positive outcome.
  • Openly discuss the inventory of all the things you have in your favor — both those you brought along and those provided by nature.
  • Prioritize the work according to the specific situation.
  • True leadership is not required, but granted. Be an example. Start by getting up and doing the most important things. Ask for help, but don’t ask. Be clear, but not dictatorial, about how you want the tasks done.
  • Consider the suggestions of others who are open to helping but also want to suggest different ways to do the job. Accept that no one person has the answer and that others may have valuable experience that could be helpful in this situation.
  • Show gratitude for others’ input and, where possible, use their suggestions. This will instill in them a sense o importance and teamwork.
  • It is important to get to the most important tasks. These are the
  • Five things you need to do in order to keep your survival focus and mental health
  • A positive outlook for you and your group.
  • Take care of any serious injuries.
  • Get a fire going. Campfires can make you feel like you have a lifeline. Always carry fire-starting materials with you when venturing into the backcountry.
  • Set up a camp and make a shelter. Although this task is time-consuming, it accomplishes three things. It protects the body from the elements. It also creates a psychological zone of protection against real and perceived hazards. Finally, it brings everyone together to help build unity and cooperation. Chapter 2 describes the various options available for shelters, both homemade and commercially-purchased.
  • Use signal to attract searchers. Use reflective surfaces. Use logs and stones to create visual symbols that attract rescuers in clearings and on hillsides. Keep the signal fires lit — a smoky flame at night and a bright one at day. When searchers are close, use audible signals. (For a more detailed discussion on signalling techniques both visible and audible see Chapter 6.
  • Locate a water source and plan food gathering efforts. Work at a slow pace so you don’t sweat and conserve energy.

Once you have done that, you will be more likely to survive if you wait for rescue. You should improve your living conditions on a daily basis. The shelter improves protection from the elements and provides psychological comfort. For signalling purposes, keep a fire going all the time — light it by day and burn it by night. Not only is it a great way to alert rescuers when it’s dark outside, but it also helps you avoid fear and provides psychological comfort. Encourage rescue by actively using every signal device and technique that you can think of. This keeps hope alive. It helps survivors feel that life is possible. Keep your home clean and tidy to avoid infection. It also helps to maintain your dignity. Keep positive and optimistic, and talk only in positive terms to other party members.

Try to calmly handle the most pressing problem first and then move on to the more important. You can train anxiety to be your servant and not your master. A bodyguard who issues warnings to ensure your survival is a bodyguard. Listen to your bodyguard and consider all options. Then, take the appropriate actions.

Create a Survivor’s Attitude

Theo, a 39-year-old man, spent three days in the woods of Michigan. He was soaked by the rain and it was bad weather. His clothes became frozen at night. Theo did not smoke so he didn’t have a lighter or matches to light a fire. Theo had no food and only ate rabbits he caught by hand.

Two young women wandered for four days through the wilderness of Yellowstone National Park. They discovered small bird eggs in a nest, and they ate them. One of the girls said, “The eggs weren’t too bad because they were warm.” The area was home to grasshoppers, ants, and the girls mentioned that they thought about eating them. However, they were saved before they could.

Seventy-nine-year-old Francis was lost for four days on the rugged slopes of a 4,000-foot mountain in Oregon. Francis survived by eating wild berries and sleeping in fern-covered beds. She also used survival skills she had learned many years ago. She apologised for the huckleberry stains and shied away photographers when she was taken to safety.

I understand what you are thinking. It’s about survival in the backcountry by eating wild food. We’re not talking food, we’re talking survival. Survival is about overcoming the odds, digging deep within ourselves and going above and beyond what is expected. It is about your attitude. These stories tell the story of people who changed their attitude and overcame food prejudices and fears to survive in difficult circumstances. All of them had a positive attitude and that was what got them through.

It’s no secret that 90% of survival is psychological. This means that only 10% of the remaining 95% is psychological. The many stories of people who have lived through circumstances that were completely outside of the norm of logic are a testament to this fact. Extremes of heat, cold and dehydration are not something people can accept as defeat.

There are many other stories about people who gave in and died before they could have. They didn’t have enough will to survive, so they couldn’t take a fighting posture, stare adversity in its eye, or spit. They gave up.

Survival is an individual thing. It doesn’t matter if you believe you can or not, survival is an individual thing. There is also a psychological dysfunction that can lead to extreme depression and complete panic. They stop functioning in order to ensure their survival.

It’s not always about the physical survival aspects such as food, water and shelter that matter. Sometimes, it’s the attitude.

What is the best survival attitude? It’s simple: a fighting attitude. You might not be able to stand up for yourself if you don’t want to. You must have a level of control, anger, and righteous indignation that is not hostile to the situation. You will fight every threat to your life if you can identify the enemy. Never give up. Never give up!

You can control your attitude no matter how you define it. It is a defiance and not wild rage. You can clench your fist and grit your teeth to shout, “I’m not going down!” Let that attitude motivate and inspire you to take the necessary actions. You will survive, no matter what.

Your attitude must include four spheres: you, the situation, your group members, and your possessions.

  • Your attitude should be confident. It is normal to feel some fear or apprehension. Courage is simply the ability to persevere in spite of fear and work towards a positive solution. Don’t let your fears get to the point where you believe you won’t survive. You have complete control over your thoughts. If you feel the need to shout to yourself that it’s possible, do so. You may find that the steady sound of your voice, speaking with a firm resolve, can help you calm down. When having small discussions with yourself, only use positive affirmations. You can say things like “OK, I’m confident I can start a fire.” Negatives should not be used in any way, such as “If I can’t get a flame started.” I’m going into a frost. Your brain and body can respond to both positive and adverse mental inputs without discrimination. So, focus only on the positive.
  • You must face reality. You must make a realistic and clear assessment of the situation. This includes where you are now, how the weather is going, and what your physical condition (illness, injuries) is. Keep track of all assets — anyone back home who may initiate a search when your due, every item (right down to your shoes), and survival skills.
  • Regarding others: Your attitude should be one of cooperation, passion and com-passion. Others may react negatively to the situation. You should approach them with confidence and willingness to help solve problems. Sometimes, the most unlikely person can rise to leadership-ship status. You should be prepared to accept that the person you are recommending might not be you. No need to be in office politics. Be a leader or follower, no matter what position you are in. Always be a positive influence on the group. You can tell a leader if you feel you have something to add. Discuss it in private and calmly so that there is no mutiny.
  • Last but not least, what about your possessions? Your attitude should be one of careful, protective use of all resources so that you don’t lose, waste or ruin anything.

A group survival situation does not allow for personal possessions. Your knife or your compass could be used to save the group. This doesn’t mean that you should give your knife away to a club-fisted oaf just so he can destroy it. You can retain physical possession but the group gets the benefit.

Attitude is everything. It doesn’t matter if you are a woman aged seventy nine years old who has lost her way in the mountains or a group of hunting friends trapped by a severe storm. Or a young family left behind by a landslide closing the trail. Keeping alive starts in your brain. You will succeed more when you have the right attitude and you are able to take on each challenge. Find out more about how to access the situation, determining your assets, developing an action of plans and setting of priorities in the Pyschology of survival part 2.


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