Survival psychology

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Above, Ray Mears shows you the impact the mind has on extreme survival.
Your ability to adapt has everything to do with survival. Take control of your
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    wilderness? Author Cristen Conger tackles this question and
    offers some advice in a free article on howstuffworks.com.
    "When you realize you've entered into a survival situation,
    resist panic and take a few minutes to plan," the author
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    body reacting to stress including the negative effects of
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    importance of a having positive mental attitude because
    without it our bodies and our brain wear down faster. It's a
    quick read and well worth the time.

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    right, isn't a survival psychology book, but it has an excellent
    chapter on the subject of hunger. Packed with useful tips for
    Preppers, though it's an outdoor survival guide, you'll find
    the survival psychology section fascinating. You can be
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Survival Psychology
Prepping and the psychology of survival

Develop a mindset of preparing for any possible disaster.
Survival psychology is the most important of survival skills. What
separates survivors from those who don't make it? People who
respond quickly, remain clear in head, focused in their task, and
have a stress free attitude, have a distinct advantage when it
comes to survival. This attitude enables better intuition and
judgment; whereas an overwhelmed mind just can't think logically
and as a result leads to poor decisions.  

The psychological consequences of hunger and thirst; cold or
heat; crowding or isolation; fatigue or sleep deprivation are
among the things you will face without a plan to combat the
hardships or avert the dangers. Indeed, having the proper
mindset could save your life, which is why survival planning is so
important.

What is survival planning? Survival planning is much more than
stocking the necessary food, water, and security items. It
involves a survival mindset. This mindset goes beyond having a
positive mental attitude. Good and happy thoughts alone can't
help you find your way out of a disaster! Survival planning
includes this component of a psychological first-aid. Survival
psychology is part of your survival planning because it's a matter
of having both hope and determination to survive along with
having a logical plan to ensure success.

When you prepare, you dramatically increase your chances for
survival. Make a plan to survive by absorbing the seven rules of
survival psychology. This read just may save your life.

Seven Lessons of Survival Psychology
Here are the seven survival or "prepper psychology" rules (a
prepper's list of urban survival skills):

Survival Psychology Rule #1:
Respond quickly, don't hesitate.
People who respond quickly and remain clear-headed have a
distinct advantage when it comes to survival. In short, every
second counts when it comes to survival! Case in point is the
wildfires of Napa and Sonoma counties in California where fires
were so fast that
hesitation proved lethal.

Know that you are built with a
fight or flight response. Failure to
react is the most important factor to consider. Preppers have the
advantage because they know how to react when a catastrophic
situation will present itself. They will not be the deer stuck in the
headlights, because they have, in their mind, run a thousand
scenarios and know how to respond. They have a plan. Others will
not be so lucky. They will head to FEMA camps and will huddle in
fear. Most will not survive the end of the world as we know it. So
what is your survival plan?

    Your survival plan is this:
  1. Respond quickly to do anything it takes to stay alive.
  2. Make 100% of your energy devoted to survival and have
    the will to live.
  3. Never quit!

The Nike, "Just do it," advertising campaign probably stems from
sage Disney advice: "The way to get started is to quit talking and
begin doing." – Walt Disney

Survival Psychology Rule #2:
Do things right ~ the first time.
Do It Right The First Time ~ get the DRIFT? Accounting managers
may have tagged this acronym first, but DRIFT applies to
preppers too. The key to doing it thing right the first time is
preparation. The things you do today greatly will help your
chances for survival tomorrow. The only way to do things right, is
to practice them.

Do things right the first time, but practice first:

  • Gas mask. If you have a gas mask, then learn how to put it
    on in thirty seconds or less. You must practice this and think
    about what to do when you're not under stress. Remain clear
    in your head and stay focused on your task.

  • Fire extinguisher. Do you know how to operate a fire
    extinguisher? It takes practice to use a fire extinguisher
    confidently. It make seem like all you need to do is pull a
    lever and point at the flame, it's not as easy as it may
    seem. Here's how to use a fire extinguisher properly.

Survival Psychology Rule #3:
Plan an escape route.
Having an escape route is part of situational awareness. Before
you enter a building figure out your escape route. Think through
your actions with mental imagery if you were in a scenario. Any
preparation as mundane as possible could save your life.

Never live in an hotel room or apartment below the first sixth
floor. Most fire ladders extend only to the sixth floor. You should
also know the route out of a building as if you were blind as
smoke could block your vision. Walk the evacuation route before
disaster strikes with your eyes closed, even while at a hotel or a
friends home.

  • Always look for cross roads while walking.
  • Give your car a buffer to get around the cars ahead of you.
  • Find your life raft on a ferry before you find your seat.
  • Count seats to the exit on a plane before you place your
    baggage in the overhead compartments.
  • Hold regular fire drills with your family, including specifics on
    how to deploy the escape ladder (as this is something kids
    won't know how to do without instruction).

Survival Psychology Rule #4:
Never underestimate the dangers.
There's no greater danger than underestimating the danger!
Overconfidence about your ability to handle a situation or
underestimating the time required are two deadly mistakes that
preppers should strive to avoid.

Retired Colonel Rick Rescorla comes to mind for this survival rule.
If you've ever read about Rescorla, who was Director of Security
for Morgan Stanley, the largest employer at the World Trade
Center, you'd know that he saved 2,700 employees on 9/11.  On
that fateful day, his military training to "never underestimate the
dangers" saved thousands of lives, but unfortunately not his own.
Around a dozen Morgan Stanley employees perished.

Thank goodness for Rescorla's military training. The U.S. Military
places a premium on soldiers to never overestimate themselves
or underestimate the enemy. He was prepared for 9/11 by not
only providing a guiding light to keep employees calm and to
bring them to safety during the chaos, but he had foresight to
prepare for evacuation. He had prioritized costly evacuation
exercises and had a plan for dealing with imminent danger.

In the military, soldiers learn that there's a decisive point on
battlegrounds. It's a turning point to "never accept defeat" and to
"never to quit." This "Warrior Ethos" of leadership also places
primary importance to "always keep the mission first" and "never
leave a fallen comrade." This served as the guiding point for
Rescorla and here's how you can use the Warrior Ethos in terms
of your own survival.

  • Always keep the mission first. Rescorla understood to keep
    the mission first. Your mission as a prepper is always
    survival. At the moment you realize an imminent danger,
    keep the mission of survival foremost in your mind. As they
    say, don't be like the "sheeple." As often is the case in
    building fires, many people underestimate the severity of the
    fire. They think they have more time than they actually do.
    This is often called "friendly fire syndrome." The best
    example of "friendly fire syndrome" was evident on Sept. 11,
    2001 when the intercom instructed everyone to stay in their
    offices. What happens is that those in the buildings
    collectively lost their mission of survival. The same is true of
    a house or apartment fire. The mission is to save your own
    life, not your property! People who perish may grab a few
    heirlooms or documents and in this precious time lose their
    life. Thankfully, preppers have a mission. We have priorities
    and a bugout bag for just this purpose. Everything we need
    is in the bag and we're out the door.

  • Never quit. Rescorla also never quit. He understood
    normalcy bias. The normalcy bias is the mental state you
    might face during a disaster where you underestimate the
    disaster and its possible effects. What we mean by never
    quitting is never to give up, but also to never let your guard
    down. He ordered the evacuation of Morgan Stanley
    employees despite the normalcy bias at the World Trade
    Center which sent announcements to tenants of building to
    stay in their offices. Riscolra understood to never
    underestimate the dangers of the situation. Unfortunately,
    because of the normalcy bias, many of those who died on
    9/11 didn't find an urgency. They went to the bathroom, filed
    away papers, shut down their computers and locked their
    cabinets or finishing their meals, instead of heading straight
    for the fire exits. Others gathered together to try to figure
    out what to do. They huddled together in groups, and called
    their families to get news. Instead they should have spent
    their precious time evacuating at all costs. Better to risk
    some smoke inhalation than to do nothing and die. Always
    keep the mission of life first and underestimate the dangers.

  • Never leave a fallen comrade. This falls under the scouting
    laws of "helping others at all times." A caveat should be
    added and highlighted: "only when it is safe to do so."  
    Parents instinctively "never leave a fallen child" and in so
    doing some perish. We must all remember that soldiers and
    Emergency Response teams have training on how to deal
    with a fallen comrade. As a prepper you should know your
    own limitations as you also recognize your skills.

  • Never accept defeat. Rescorla never accepted defeat.
    Unfortunately, he succumbed to the peril, but his memory
    lives on in the thousands of people whose lives he saved.

Life poses imminent danger as some day you
will die; however,
you can postpone the imminent threat with advanced planning.

Survival Psychology Rule #5: Ignore peer pressure!
As crazy as it sounds, people sometimes ignore danger because
of peer pressure. As we found in 9/11, there was peer pressure to
stay in the building. In this example the authorities of the
building security were the peers pressuring others to stay. Those
who succumbed to peer pressure on 9/11 died because of peer
pressure. Really, that's all it is. Someone bullied the people to
stay inside the office.

Peer pressure is able to exert its power in more ways than meets
the eye. In short, people don't want to look silly. They don't want
to appear to be fragile or overreactding. They don't want to risk
their reputation, and yet they are willing to risk their life!

Peer pressure is something preppers constantly face when their
non-prepping family, friends and aquaintances think they're crazy
for prepping. Rest assured
Preppers are not crazy for prepping!
Ignore the peer pressure, which tells you that you're a fool for
prepping. Stick to your values: ignore the peer pressure.

Survival Psychology Rule #6:
Have confidence to take control!
Be "in charge'! Your preparedness will count for nothing unless
you put your plans into action. The person who survives is the
one who has self confidence. Having self confidence will help you
deal with the situation at hand. Need to survive and tell yourself
specifically what you need to do. Remember, that what you do
could really make the difference. You are responsible for your life.
You can affect your own destiny.

Anyone who has taken a CPR class knows that the only thing
separating you from the others is your confidence in knowing
what to do. A person trained in CPR will command someone else
to call 911. They will take charge of the situation to evaluate the
life condition. They will also ask permission for help from the
victim or guardian. That is because they are the person in control.
You can't help someone who doesn't want to be helped. For
many, there is a sense of relief when someone else is in charge.
Survivors are "in charge" and the lead the situation at hand.

Survival Psychology Rule #7:
Adopt a positive "attitude of gratitude."
To survive you have to have an attitude of gratitude and adopt a
positive mindset. A survival mindset goes beyond just having a
positive mental attitude. "Happy thoughts" are not enough to
survive and yet it has been proven through the holocaust that
survivors who had hope and gratitude survived, while those who
adopted hopelessness perished.

Have a stress-free attitude and practice an attitude of gratitude!
This is an important distinction. Adopting a positive attitude
alone won't ensure your survival, but when coupled with the other
survival psychology rules it can give you an edge.

Always have hope to survive and be happy that you've prepared.
Surely, the happiest people on earth will be the ones who've
prepared should the unthinkable happen. You can thrive with a
positive mental attitude!

Here are some ways to adopt an attitude of gratitude in prepping
and survive:

More Survival Psychology Resources:
Survival is psychology. Here's a compelling documentary on the
psychology of survival.