MENTAL ASPECTS OF SURVIVAL
Survival doesn't depend on knowledge. It doesn't even depend on that in the least. How can this be you ask? This entire website is nothing but a compilation of all this knowledge that we are suppose to need when the end comes. I say this because it isn't the knowledge that accomplishes the task it is the actual doing of the task, the application of the knowledge not the knowledge itself.
OK that is might just be a play on words but the point needs to be made. Time and time again people put in survival situation that have the needed knowledge fail to act on that knowledge to save thereselves.
People today just don't understand how mental fortitude will come into play when the going gets rough. A key ingredient in dire circumstances is your mental toughness, your attitude, your willingness to fight.
Having survival skills is very important. Having the will to survive
is absolutely essential. Without a desire to survive, all your skills
will serve little purpose and all your training and knowledge goes to waste.
Stresses can transform knowledgeable well trained people into balls of Jello. Recognition of this aspect of survival and reassuring yourself with positive thoughts plays a big part in warding off the defeated mentality that will be constantly trying to creep in and whittle away at your will.
Don't believe that you are immune to stress and its affect on your will. Everyone feels this stress, it isn't something that can be eliminated.
Listed below are a few of the common signs of distress:
Difficulty making decisions.
Low energy level.
Propensity for mistakes.
Thoughts about death or suicide.
Trouble getting along with others.
Withdrawing from others.
Hiding from responsibilities.
Stress can be very destructive. It can discourage you from completing daunting task that are essential for your survival. Key
to your survival is your ability to manage stress.
Invariable things will go wrong. You lose a piece of equipment, something breaks, rain comes as you are trying to build a fire, etc etc. Allowing the negative feelings that come on during these situations to overcome you can lead you to give up, to waste time to do nothing.
It doesn't happen quickly. You will be overcome and give up only to regain your desire to go on shortly thereafter. But then more setbacks occur and over time as you body gets more and more run down you succumb easier, more quickly and for longer periods of time.
This can cause rash foolish decisions that over time put you further and further away from where you want to be. This compounds the problems because for example you didn't get the fire started because you threw you bag of supplies out of frustration and then you had to spend time gathering them back up. Now just before you get your fire started a downpour drenches everything and now not only do you have to deal with a day without fire and light at night but you have to deal with the stress that it was avoidable. We sometimes feel like lost ground can never be made up so "why go on". Your long shot at survival is now even more remote.
This type of spiraling depression is something that if you recognize its possibilities before hand you can guard against and/or resolve to never let happen again.
Anticipating stressors (things that cause stress)and developing strategies to cope with them are two ingredients in the effective management of stress. It is essential when in a survival setting to be aware of the types of stressors you will encounter.
Stresses will bring on emotions such as fear, anxiety, frustration, and depression. Each of these emotions cause you to react or not react to situations and that could lead to death. But I believe depression is the worst of the emotions that is most likely to cause you to die in a survival situation. Not to discount the others but dealing with depression is ultimately going to be the hardest of the emotions brought on by a seemingly hopeless situation.
Fear and anxiety even frustration can be turned to your advantage. But depression will only have negative effects. The feeling of hopelessness and feeling sorry for yourself leads you to give up. To quit. You quit you die. As foreign as it may sound now, wishing for death, for it to be all over is a feeling that will need to be consciously fought off if you are to survive.
Many people envision theirselves as loners after society breaks down. Others would just weigh them down. But in reality people are social creatures and loneliness is not an emotion to be taken lightly. Being alone will drive many if not most people to madness. Your mind wanders crazily without other human interaction to channel it and focus it. Loneliness is the most difficult emotion to fight, even more so than fear or depression, because it is relentless and ever present. Companionship is something I strongly recommend everyone plans for when preparing for the end of the world as we know it.