We are all preparing because we want to give ourselves the best possible chance when it comes to surviving any sort of disaster, but that doesn’t mean that in the weeks following a SHTF situation there won’t be people around making us ask ourselves “How did they survive this long!?”
Although the luck of the draw will play a big factor when it comes to who lives and who dies, we need to understand the psychology of survival, because sometimes prepping just isn’t enough. We can create our own luck and as Louis Pasteur once said…
“Chance favors the prepared mind.”
Let’s imagine that about 4 weeks ago there was an EMP that took out half of the country, everything is in complete chaos, looting and rioting have been going on for a while, and the stores have been empty going on a month. The only reason you are still around is because you haven’t had to leave your home for any reason other than a couple life of death situations, and those were well planned out.
You look out your window and see an old man walking down the street with a cane and you ask yourself…
“How in the world has that man survived this long, in this type of environment?” You might even think that the poor guy needs help. Luck might have a little bit to do with it, but there is probably more to the story than that.
With all those years comes wisdom, and even though we might be thinking that he is alone and needs help, he probably understands how to use everything he has to his advantage. After all, there is a reason he is still around. He might even have a sword in that cane.
Take homeless people for example, these people are is survival mode every day. Not everyone who is homeless is homeless for the same reasons though.
Some have drug or alcohol issues that forced then into this lifestyle, some have mental issues and can’t function in “normal” society, and some have made bad choices that lead to them with nothing accept the cloths on their backs. Even worse are the military veterans that have mental or physical issues as a result of their service to this country and have been left high and dry.
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These people might not have the survival skills we are all trying to learn, but they do have the ability to adapt to their environment. They know where the food is, they know the best ways to talk people into giving them money, and they understand improvised shelter using only what they can find.
There are also those people where everything seems to always work out for them. Some people seem to land the perfect job, or the perfect partner leading you to ask…
“How did they get that job?” or “what does he/she see in that person?”
The reason for this is (for the most part) their mental attitude and personality. Some people are able to accept the situation and make the most out of it, while others will be constantly looking for someone to blame. Some people have charisma and a personality that makes everyone want to be around them or help them.
I’m not going to go into detail about the power of positive thinking, but positive thinking leads to positive action, while negative thinking leads to no action at all. Sometimes the best choice is just to make one.
A good indication about how someone will react in a survival situation is how they react now. If they are constantly looking for help and making excuses now, the same will hold true in a disaster situation. If they are the type of person that takes control and accepts the situation, they might be the people you want to align yourself with. Ask yourself if people would want to align themselves with you?
Survival means more than how well stocked you are or how long you have been prepping, survival means understanding the situation and knowing what the best course of action will be. It also means thinking of your supplies as tools that will help your situation…not tools vital for the situation.
Whether you are in the wilderness or in an urban setting a key ingredient in any survival situation is mental attitude and the psychology of survival. And while having survival skills is important, having the will to survive is critical.
It might be a little tough keeping a positive attitude when everything around you seems to be falling apart, but it’s crucial to try and keep a level head and avoid getting “stressed out.”
When Panic Sets In
How we react in a crisis and how we handle stress will play a big role in how the events unfold. You have probably heard that in a wilderness survival situation the worst thing you can do is panic. Panic is enemy number 1! How you handle the effects of the situation, and your ability to defeat panic before it sets in will determine your rate of success or failure in any emergency situation.
If you ever find yourself in a situation like this there a simple acronym I use, the acronym S.T.O.P. It stands for Sit, Think, Observe and Plan.
Sit: Before you do anything just sit down and collect your thoughts and think about what you have that will help you.
Think: Think about what supplies you have. Think about how you have prepared for a situation like this in advance. Most importantly, keep a positive attitude and don’t let your mind go overboard on you.
Observe: Look at your surroundings and decide what poses a threat, and what resources might be available to you. Observing will also give you a more confident feeling about the situation.
Plan: Now that you have thought rationally about the situation it’s time to take action. You have conquered the major danger of not allowing panic to cast your fate. Stay positive and remind yourself that you have the will to conquer anything else that confronts you.
Living without power, cars, electronics or running water may seem like a nightmare scenario but to pioneers it was just the way life was. Having the skills to survive without modern conveniences is not only smart in case SHTF, it’s also great for the environment. Keep in mind that the key to a successful homestead does not only lie on being able to grow your own food but on other skills as well. LEARNING THESE SKILLS WILL take time, patience and perseverance, and not all of these skills are applicable to certain situations. Hopefully, though, you managed to pick up some great ideas that will inspire you and get you started! Just like our forefathers used to do, The Lost Ways Book teaches you how you can survive in the worst-case scenario with the minimum resources available.It comes as a STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE ACCOMPANIED BY PICTURES AND TEACHES YOU HOW TO USE BASIC INGREDIENTS TO MAKE SUPER-FOOD FOR YOUR LOVED ONES.
You’re Stressing Me Out
Stress can be something that sneaks up and bites us in the butt before we even notice it. All people handle stress differently, some people hold it inside and some people let it affect their decision making process more outright.
Some general signs of stress are…
- Difficulty making decisions.
- Angry outbursts.
- Low energy level.
- Constant worrying.
- Propensity for mistakes.
- Thoughts about death or suicide.
- Trouble getting along with others.
- Withdrawing from others.
- Hiding from responsibilities.
I am not going to go into detail here about how people handle stress differently because I wrote this post called Dealing With Stress in a SHTF Scenario that goes into great detail about the subject.
I do want to go over stressors and what they are. Any SHTF event will most likely lead to stress, and as you probably know one event can lead to another, events don’t always come one at a time. These events are not stress, but they lead to what are called “stressors.” Once the body recognizes the presence of a stressor, it then begins to act to protect itself.
A stressor can be a single event, or multiple events that will affect someones decision making process, or cause a full out breakdown. Its impossible to tell what might be a stresser for someone until after the fact, but the more you know about how people react to stressful situations the quicker you can address the issues before they become bigger problems.
Fight or Flight
In response to a stressor, our body goes into “fight or flight” mode. Our bodies revert back to our primal instincts and either prepares to fight, or prepares to get the heck out of Dodge. This can produce an adrenalin rush as the body releases stored fuels to provide a quick energy boost, and your breathing rate will increase to supply more oxygen to the blood as it prepares for action.
As a stressor causes you to go into “fight or flight” mode your senses will become more acute. Your hearing becomes more sensitive and your vision and smell become sharper so that you are more aware of your surroundings and possible dangers. This “adrenalin rush” does not last forever though, the human body cannot handle these levels for extended periods of time.
One last thing about stressors and we’ll move on to the survival mindset. Stressors don’t come and go one by one, but they can build up one by one. Stressors can add up, and depending on how the person reacts, their personality can change immediately, or it can be a “the straw that broke the camel’s back” type scenario. Read the article I linked to above for more information about this.
The Survival Mindset
Having the will to survive is more important than any tool you have. Being able to manage your fears and understand how you or anyone else might react in a crisis could go a long way in keeping you out of unneeded dangerous situations.
Even though most situations can be better managed by thinking them through, you still need the supplies to make the job easier. But having the knowledge to make the correct decisions, or at least the most educated decisions possible gives you a psychological advantage that most people won’t have.
Remember, having the survival mindset and understanding the psychology of survival will not guarantee that everything will go as planned, but flipping out and giving up WILL guarantee you won’t last long. We all have the will to survive right now, but how will you react when push comes to shove?
Comments on “The Psychology of Survival – Because Sometimes Prepping Just Isn’t Enough”
EVERYONE IS MY ENEMY, they have PROVED IT.
I plan to shoot anyone and anything that crosses my path.
When I run out of ammo, I will turn to the blade arts I have practiced for 40 years.
When that fails.. well, we ALL DIE EVENTUALLY.
Been there on most counts on limited basis. Was once in a bad fight with a person 12 inches taller and 60 pounds heavier, it was ugly but I was actually winning and we finally squared off, I had a shovel and he had an axe handle …I made almost a fatal mistake, I forgot how long his arms were and he clocked me in the forehead. The impact was severe and immediately blood was gushing, it was keeping time to my heart beat, I knew I was in trouble and I had never felt so alive in all my life. I didn’t feel pain, I just remember being ready and such a heightened sense of awareness. Funny, the dude I was fighting? He took off running into a warehouse and shut and locked the door, that was it.
THREE lessons learned through my life…FIRST: The one characteristic that ALL Special OPS Warriors have in common…The “I WILL NOT QUIT” gene. SECOND: “Trust in the LORD with ALL of thine heart, and lean NOT to thy own understanding; in ALL of thy ways, acknowledge HIM, and HE WILL direct thy path”! [Prov.3:5 – 6]
My SURVIVAL will ALWAYS ONLY dependent upon 3 mindsets…The refusal to QUIT, because you TRUST that the LORD will guide you through & out again…and this one other…
I contracted Polio at 5 yrs. of age…my Mother held me in her arms for four hours, in the waiting room of the hospital; then, when they put me on the gurney, and rolled me to my bed, Mom came along, (even tho they were rolling kids OUT, under sheets, as fast as they brought us in). I was placed in a bed, next to a wall with a window the full length of the wall, (later we realized that the room had been an incubator room)…When the Doctor had finished examining me, as he tried to leave, but Mom stopped him and said: “I can take ANYTHING but doubt…will he live?” The doc looked back at me, then again to her, and said “No madam, he won’t live thru the night”…THEN, (I’ve always thot that the HYPOCRATIC OATH slapped him up side his head about then), he stopped, looked at me again, then said, “IF, by some miracle he lives, he’ll never walk again, he’s lost all movement of his legs”…6 Wees later, I was released from the Hospital as: “TOO ACTIVE FOR THE FLOOR”…At age 15, I ran the MILE, & TWO MILE, back to back….For me to get to the Mission Field, the lord had to provide a couple who JUST HAPPENED to stop by, & offered me a ride to Miami from Texas…My Mother donated $200.00 for plane fair, I’ve been stranded in a burning plane, imprisoned in Brazil, jailed in Venezuela, mugged in D.C., landed in the States with 4 quarters & a wife & two young children, but, after two calls that failed, the 3rd call a home took us in, and then, (after visiting my Mom for a month), a friend donated $2000.00 to get us started…the husband of the home that took my wife & kids in, donated a car to us…
And, then, there’s the the Doctor who gave me my rehabilitation therapy, (after leaving the Hospital). A polio victim himself. He was in a wheelchair. To help me stretch out my VERY TIGHT heel cords, he had me walk up the steps of a small bridge, and then down again, but, on each step, he asked me to stand with JUST my toes and front of my foot on the step, and relax and let me sink down on the step…it hurt REALLY MUCH, so, after the forth cycle, up the steps, I was standing at the top and whined “It hurts, I can’t do it!”
He suddenly wheeled himself over to the bridge, grabbed each hand rail, and walked, hand over hand, (as his feet just flopped against the edge of each step, then, at the top, he flipped around, walked, hand over hand down, flipped around again, & landed in his chair, and then shouted:
“YOU CAN DO ANYTHING YOU WANT TO! YOU JUST HAVE TO FIND A WAY!” I’ve NEVER FORGOTTEN THAT! It’s my 3rd “Rule of survival”!