Survival Crisis’ can occur in a variety of forms. You may end up stranded in an austere environment, victim to a natural disaster of one type or another, stuck in the middle of a warring nation, or any other innumerable scenarios.
The scenario here is not what’s significant, but rather your ability to cope and maintain an effective mental attitude. Stressors such as these can present the victim with a variety of symptoms a racing heart rate, nausea, dizziness, panic attacks, mood swings and more. All of which will only serve to reduce your chance of survival and a successful recovery from the situation.
For this reason it’s important that you’re prepared to handle whatever fate throws at you not only from a physical, and equipment perspective, but a mental one as well. In fact I’d go so far as to say mental preparedness is by far the most important factor in any situation. You can overcome short-comings with a sharp mind, but all the equipment and gear in the world will likely fail a mentally weak individual.
In this article, we offer 6 tips that you can use to combat stress and calm yourself down. While the whole world may be breaking down around you it’s important to maintain your composure and these tips can help with that.
Visualize a desired outcome
Visualization can provide a great immediate calming relief. It can allow you to take a quick break from the chaotic surroundings and immerse yourself in a different reality even if for a brief respite. This isn’t a good vibes hippie state we’re talking about here (but if that works for you have at it), but simply closing your eyes and mentally picturing a better situation to calm your nerves. Likewise visualization can be an effective pre-mission tool (whatever the agenda is) as a way to rehearse mentally your upcoming strategy and actions to employ.
Controlled Deep breathing
Our respiratory system often reacts under stress and aggravates a mental state if not controlled. If you’re familiar with Yoga you’re likely well aware of the benefits of breathing exercises. If not, no worries. All you’re aiming to do here is focus inward on your breathing to slow it down and increase the volume of oxygen being brought in by inhaling deeper Simply take a deep breath and hold a count of 4 or 5 then slowly exhale it. Do this until you gain a normal breathing pattern and calm. and you’ll feel much more refreshed.
Work a Plan
If your situation sucks you should concern yourself with making it better. This is done (intelligently) by a planning process. In the case of this article the planning process provides multiple benefits. It’s a necessary step to overcome your current crisis, but in context here formulating a plan provides a measure of hope. Hope can not be overstated as hope provides drive and motivation. All of this translates to a calmer mental state rather than a hopeless one taken over by panic. Fear can be a useful tool when controlled, but a dangerous weapon to the psyche when allowed free reign.
Discussing A Solution
Talking to others can help to provide a calming state and is proactive in working towards a solution to the problem you face. Keep the discussion pointed, proactive and optimistic on how to resolve the crisis. This is not to say give way to unrealistic options for action, certainly stay grounded, but don’t let the conversation turn to unproductive talk of despair either.
Exercise It Out
Idle hands are the devil’s workshop and the mind will run wild if not employed. Exercise can act as a great relief and de-stressing tool. That said use caution with this method as obviously sometimes it’s not advisable to engage in exercise (say a starvation survival situation). It’s all dependent on the scenario, but throw this in the mental toolbox as well. Likewise good hard physical work can provide the same effect. If your situation requires such activity utilize it to help bring your mental state under control.
Create Order in the Chaos
As humans we don’t like having our lives turned upside down, and the unpredictable nature of such situations is mentally taxing in and of itself. Just because the world around you is controlled or chaotic does not mean you can’t influence your little sphere of existence.
Create a (productive) routine and abide by it. Having a measure of predicable in the unpredictable environment will provide a level of peace to your daily existence.
Utilizing these simple yet effective techniques can provide you the mental calm needed during the storm. Do you already use these? Are there other techniques you find helpful? Let us know in the comments below.