Disaster may strike at any moment (man-made or natural).
It’s not enough to be physically prepared for these events. One must also be mentally ready to deal with the aftermath of the extreme event and experiences.
A survivalist is one who can stay calm under pressure. They are the type that can take in the experience, adapt, and remain mentally alert. This prevents more problems caused by an unhealthy mode of thinking.
Psychology is the study of the mind.
Wouldn’t this make sense to learn as part of your survival skills?
Survival Skills: Why Psychology Matters
Survivalists are able to handle situations through a mix of their mindfulness and physical resources.
It builds upon these five items which help you master psychology and conflict resolution:
- Identifying the source of the problem
- Looking beyond the incident
- Finding and requesting solutions
- Identifying the solutions that are viable
This goes right in line with observing, reasoning, and action. The staples of being a survivalist in any given situation.
Throughout all parts of the survivalist process when handling a situation there is an underlying need to understand one’s mind.
Fear and doubt are emotions which will disrupt your ability to adapt survival skills.
Our judgments become clouded and we often react to situations in an emotional manner. These emotional reactions can lead to further problems.
- Irrationally marching forward without thought when lost
- Panicking and improperly setting camp as night begins to fall
- Aggressive reactions to others which can divide the group
A clear mind increases your chance of survival — this is accomplished through the learning of psychology and self-reflection.
Here is a process/exercise to stay mindful during an intense experience:
- Assess the situation by taking a few moments to understand why things are happening and what resources you have to handle it.
- Observe the situation to collect data so you’re able to make a logical decision on how to react.
- Plan how the situation is handled along with the pros and cons of the reaction.
The mind wants to react when it feels that it’s in danger. Practice taking a moment for a breather and to analyze the situation. Doing so will stop you from gut reactions.
Find what works for you.
These five ways will bring you to a better understanding of your mind and how to best approach the situation without being irrational:
1. Deep breathing – This will give you a moment to take in the experience while also giving your brain additional oxygen to boost its abilities.
2. Meditation – a long-term change in how you process information. You don’t have to go spiritual – taking a few minutes of your day to reflect and put your mind at peace will do it just fine.
3. Mindful thinking – This is like meditation but instead of clearing your mind you’re maximizing your self-worth. Learning about yourself in this manner can help you keep calm throughout any situation because you know how you’ll react.
4. Writing – keeping a journal can be incredibly helpful for understanding survival skills. Reinforcing an idea by writing it down will place it in your long-term memory.
5. Discussion – be open to new ideas whether the survivalist is young or a seasoned individual. There are always new skills to learn which can help you in adapting to situations. Don’t close off since you never know what might help.
And going forward with all this…
Building Your Psychological Survival Skills
A survivalist cannot rely on book knowledge alone. You need to get out in the wilderness and place themselves into situations which will challenge their survival skills. Practice makes perfect, too.
Here are a few different ways to build your psychological survival skills:
- Practice Drills – Plan different scenarios for you (and your family) such as natural disasters, home invasion, and power outages. Make them intense but in a safe way; try to push the mental boundaries so you can later assess the faults in the reactions and ways to improve.
- Reading Others – Body language will tell a lot about a person (the same with their choice of words). Practice by having conversations and scenarios with other survivalists. Be observant to how they physical react to situations and confrontations. You can later use these observations to pick up on distress in yourself and others so that you may adapt to keep yourself (and others) calm.
- Hypnosis & Laughter – The mind is a complex organ which we’re still discovering. Researchers at Standford University School of Medicine has found some individuals are susceptible to hypnosis which can help keep an individual calm (it can also be practiced on yourself). Laughter, too, changes the way our brains function. Playfulness, even during an intense situation, can calm our body and minds — which will lead to better adaptation.
Your survival skills go beyond your physical resources. The mind needs sharpening as much as your tools.
Consider taking an online course on psychology and try adapting it to your survivalist lifestyle. It could save your life!