Experts on survival and prepping often focus on the physical things that people need to do to be ready for a disaster. They’ll teach you about stockpiling food, learning survival skills, and filling your bugout bag with all the right gear. What they won’t tell you is how to prepare psychologically for a disaster. Doing this could mean the difference between reacting to a survival situation with logic or going into shock and being unable to do anything about it. Follow these three steps, and you’ll be on your way to being mentally prepared for any disaster.
Anticipate Anxiety and Fear
It’s completely natural to experience anxiety and fear in the face of a disaster. In fact, most people, even the most experienced and skilled preppers, are going to feel at least a bit anxious and fearful in the face of serious danger. The key is to anticipate the feelings you’re going to have and understand them.
Learn to Identify Physical Symptoms
Anxiety and fear manifest in physical symptoms. You might feel suddenly cold, and your heart rate might rise significantly. You might start shaking, or you might have other physical symptoms. As you feel these things, consider what thoughts amplify and intensify them and what thoughts help you feel calmer and more prepared to take action. Take note of these and remember them for the future.
Practice Controlling Your Responses
You can decrease your heart rate by taking slow, managed breaths. And you can diminish other symptoms with positive, calming self-talk. Sometimes, simply telling yourself what you need to do each step of the way (e.g., get the bugout bag. Grab the extra fuel can. Put the kids in the car…) will be enough to keep you calm until you’re safe.
With these three steps, you can prepare yourself mentally and emotionally for a disaster situation. Add them to your physical preparation, and you’ll be ready for anything.
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