How to Cultivate a Survival Mindset

There has always been a lot of discussion surrounding why some people are able to survive harrowing situations that the rest of us could never imagine being able to physically, much less psychologically endure.

What is it that mentally sets some apart in the face of grave danger or terrifying situations?

Today I want to discuss cultivating a survival mindset.

While you probably can’t do much practicing for unexpected, harrowing survival situations, you can mentally prepare. Here are some tips.

Build endurance

Mental endurance can be developed through physical endurance. Push yourself to do things you might otherwise think you can’t, hike further, lift more weights, run faster, etc. It’s important to take care of yourself so be smart about it and don’t get yourself injured or exhausted, but odds are, you can always push yourself a little further if you simply decide to.

Develop self-discipline

Adapting a regular workout routine, sticking to a strict diet, limiting simple pleasures like too much TV or video games, all develop self-discipline which are crucial for a survival mindset. Deliberately deprive yourself of regular, everyday comforts, so you can learn how to cope without everything you want and enjoy for when you won’t have it.

Plan, plan, plan

Run scenarios in your head regularly, and think about how you’d handle each of them. I’m not talking about physical preparedness, we have plenty of articles about that, but about mental preparedness. Psyche yourself up for the worst. Read real-life survival stories and think about how you’d handle it.

Stay positive

It is commonly said that people who survive the worst kinds of situations had a positive mentality. Don’t focus on doom and gloom, focus on building mental strength and endurance, and take incredible real-life stories of survival as a reassurance that the human body and mind can endure extraordinary things; and so can you.


Soldiers are always told to take care of themselves in POW camps, to keep up their moral and stay sane. In your day-to-day life, work on developing regular habits and routine for clean eating, personal hygiene, and keeping your living space clean and organized. Whether you end up stranded in the wilderness or in the midst of a massive disaster, self-care, routine, and discipline will help you stay alive, so work on that now as a way to work on survival mentality as a whole.


The human mind is an incredible thing. Beyond preparing your home and body, prepare your mind to survive the worst.

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