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The Psychology of Survival and What You Need to Know

Updated on December 30, 2011

Mental attitude is key

The psychology of survival in a life and death situation is paramount if one plans to live and tell their tale. A General rule to remember in any situation is your psychology dictates your physiology. Physical preparation is also important, however, no physical supplies or skills matter if you are a psychological wreck. In summary, this article will address the obstacle of fear and how to control it.

Symptoms of Fear

Physical symptoms of fear:

1. Increased heart rate

2. Shortness of breath

3. Tightness in chest and throat

4. Dry mouth

5. Higher-pitched voice, stammering

6. Muscular tension, trembling

7. Butterflies in the stomach

8. Feeling faint, nausea

9. Oversensitivity to noise

10. Sweaty palms & hands

Our goal is to understand fear and accept the fact that fear is here to stay. We are dealing with a natural force that is liken to a fire. Fear will grow if we fan the flames and give it life. However, we can be wise in our time of trial by dealing with and controlling our fear.

Controlling Fear

Knowledge and training can save lives. The more we learn about ourselves and what we are capable of, the more confident we will be should we find ourselves in a survival situation. First and foremost we should live by the Boy Scout motto, which is be prepared and plan accordingly. Being prepared involves physical practice, planning ahead, mental and physical discipline and having an intimate understanding of the emergency gear we propose to have on hand. Practicing survival skills will build our confidence and give us a can do attitude when the time comes. We should Practice adapting to our surroundings. Formulate plans B, C and D before they are needed but do not become attached to any plan. Always be ready to improvise. Maintain a positive mental attitude and keep your imagination in check. Stick with the facts and focus on the present. These are just a few suggestions that we can practice as we go about our daily life. The key is to stay calm and keep your wits about you.

True Story

This last week the major media outlets have been covering the story about a man who is a twenty year veteran of the United States Marine Corpse. His fiance placed an ad on the internet that her gold necklace was for sale. A person called in reference to the ad and a meeting was set so the potential buyer could examine the item for sale. This Marine went to meet the two men interested in buying the jewelry. He showed the man the necklace and the man took off running. Naturally, the Marine gave chase. The assailant stopped, turned and shot the Marine three times in the stomach, point blank. Through tours in Iraq, Afghanistan and other hot spots around the globe this Marine had never been shot until now. He plugged the bleeding holes in his stomach with his fingers. All he could think about was the safety of his kids who were still in the car a short distance away. He called his fiance and told her he had been shot. This man got to his feet and walked the short distance to where his kids were and made sure they were safe. On a morning talk show he was asked if all the training he received in the Marine Corpse contributed to his survival in this situation and he replied, "My training helped me keep my where with all." In other words, his training taught him not to panic and how to keep a level head.

Conclusion

The good news is that information and training is in huge abundance. There are countless books and other reading material on the subject of surviving life and death situations. For a fee, training is readily available by qualified instructors. It is the authors hope that every one of us will invest our time wisely in the pursuit of self reliance. We live in a world that can change before our eyes and we owe it to ourselves and our families to be ready if our survival skills are ever put to the test.

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    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 5 years ago

      Hi James, that Marine was a Big story here in Florida...My husband who also was a Marine many years ago also agreed in what the Marine had to say. Good timely Hub for the New Year. I look forward to Following your Hubs and hope you will become a Follower of mine...And Welcome to Hub Pages!

    • Dancilla profile image

      Priscilla 5 years ago from El Paso

      This is a great hub. Very useful information.

    • JamesPoppell profile image
      Author

      JamesPoppell 5 years ago

      Thank you Dancilla. I a appreciate you taking the time to read and comment. Have a great day.

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 5 years ago

      It is very easy to loose your cool and that is the worst thing to so under stress.I admire people who act bravely and smart.Great story to share.We can all learn from each other.

    • JamesPoppell profile image
      Author

      JamesPoppell 5 years ago

      DREAM ON, you are correct on how easy it is to lose our cool in a survival situation. One cannot think and act rationally if he/she has already lost their ability to be cool, calm and collect. Thanks for commenting and have a great day.

    • JamesPoppell profile image
      Author

      JamesPoppell 5 years ago

      DREAM ON, you are correct on how easy it is to lose our cool in a survival situation. One cannot think and act rationally if he/she has already lost their ability to be cool, calm and collect. Thanks for commenting and have a great day.

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