Posts tagged: feelings

Prepare Your Mind For The Coming Crisis – Part 8 –

Coping With Negative Feelings: Anger And Hate

Disasters and crises can bring out the worst in you, if you let yourself carried away by negative feelings. When something bad happens, you tend to blame someone or something for it. God, nature, the government… these are the most common examples.

And it’s only natural to place the blame on someone or something more powerful than you. After all, we’re talking about events you can’t control. But here’s the thing: what starts off as anger directed at the culprit (real or imagined) easily develops into deeper, more dangerous emotions.

For example, you can develop a real obsession that can eat up your time and energy… and even turn you into a whole different person, hateful and superficial. Maybe now you’re thinking: “I could never end up this way”, but I personally know two different people who thought the same before the crisis struck in 2008 and lost everything they had. Now they’re absolutely unrecognizable: depressed, angry and hopeless. They’ve lost the will to fight for a better life. They gave themselves up.

Now, I’m not saying you’re going to go through the same changes, but they did, despite their belief they never would. So maybe it’s best not to take this chance and train your mind to avoid falling into this tricky trap.

It’s not very difficult, once you know a few tricks you can use at the first signs of negative feelings. And I’ll show you every step of the way right now, so close your door, make sure no one bothers you, and pay attention to these techniques only.

Dangerous Feeling #1: Anger

The Air Force Search And Rescue Survival Training defines anger as “a strong feeling of displeasure and belligerence aroused by a real or supposed wrong.”

People usually get angry when they cannot fulfill a need or desire, which makes them frustrated and useless. Anger is a natural feeling that occurs in this sort of situations, but, if not controlled, it can turn into an attitude of hostility and hate. And it’s far more difficult to change an attitude than a temporary emotional reaction.

So here’s what you need to do to prevent this from happening: the moment you start feeling anger burning your chest, try to make it a positive feeling. This means you should direct your negative state of mind into a positive action.

For example, if you’re angry that looters have trashed your yard, use this feeling to reinforce your home defense. “I’ll show them! When I’m done with the place, it’ll be a citadel, not a house! They won’t enter this place not even if they’re Santa Claus coming down the chimney.” See how anger was turned into a constructive action? Use this trick next time you feel angry and write down the results. Keep doing this until it becomes a natural reaction.

Dangerous Feeling #2: Hate

This is one of the most powerful emotions that can take over your mind. Just like love, it can make you act irrational for a long time, without even realising you’re doing something wrong.

And you’re not only hurting yourself by adopting this behaviour, but everyone around you: your family, your friends, your colleagues… Once you get blinded by hate, it’s almost impossible to control it. It speaks for you, it acts for you, it reacts for you. It becomes you.

But as hard as it may be to change this attitude, there is a way you can keep it under control. An easy one, actually. It takes just 10 minutes a day and it’s also very pleasant. Every night, before you go to sleep, take the time to write down all the reasons why you’re thankful for that day. Remind yourself how much you love your spouse, your kids, how great your friends are, how happy your dog makes you… but don’t forget about the little things: the delicious meal you’ve eaten, the fun you’ve had in the park, the wonderful way sunrays lit your whole room in the morning and whatever else made you smile.

Just enjoy every day to the fullest and don’t get caught up in the pitfalls. Stay safe!

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Prepare Your Mind For The Coming Crisis – Part 6 –

Mind Preparedness
Registered to Alec Deacon

Coping With Negative Feelings: Anxiety, Panic, And Fear

These three powerful emotions — anxiety, panic, and fear — are common during any disaster or crisis and act just like the pieces of a domino.

First, anxiety sets in. It’s like a dark premonition of what is bound to happen. If the premonition turns out to be true, panic is next to take over. It’s a normal state in case of emergency situation, but if you don’t control it, it can easily turn into fear. And more often than not, fear leads to deadly mistakes that endanger your life and your whole family,

So let’s take these negative emotions one by one and see what you can do to avoid the “domino syndrome”:

#1: Anxiety

Anxiety is a universal human reaction, usually caused by major changes. Most people are resistant to change, as it threatens a habitat we’ve already grown accustomed to. It can also be translated into “fear of the unknown”.

Many people have troubles identifying the cause of their anxiety. This is the main difference between anxiety and fear. The latter is a stronger reaction to a specific, known cause. However, in times of disaster or crisis, causes of anxiety are usually obvious. But that’s not necessarily a good thing, as it can more easily turn into panic and then fear.

So what can you do to prevent panic from setting in? At the first sign of anxiety, take a moment to clearly identify the cause. After doing so, think of a way to eliminate the cause, step-by-step. Visualise yourself taking every step successfully. Then get to the action and take every step of the way to eliminate the cause of your anxiety.

#2: Panic

If your anxiety does turn to panic, however, you must work harder on reducing this overwhelming feeling. Otherwise, you might just end up endangering your life or your family’s because you acted out of sheer panic.

So when you feel panic taking over, the first thing to do is sit down (in a safe place) and breathe deeply for 10 seconds. Try not to think of anything, just clear your head, it will help you focus. Then remember the basic survival techniques you’ve read or heard of that can save your life in that specific situation (an earthquake, an attack, a riot etc).

Breathe deeply at all times, unless you’re under a chemical or biological attack or you might choke on smoke. Breathing deeply and rhythmically will keep you calm and help you focus on your mission: survival.

#3: Fear

The difference between panic and fear lies in their intensity. Panic is a feeling that first takes control of your mind and then leads to a physical reaction. Fear is such a strong feeling that your mind immediately sends stimuli to your body, forcing it to act irrationally.

This is not necessarily a bad thing. A lot of people were saved due to their instant reactions to danger. However, when it comes to an emergency situation you’ve never experienced before, your mind does not know how to react. So it usually forces your body either to run or to freeze. And if you’re dealing with an earthquake, a flood or a terrorist attack, neither of these two will do you any good.

So what you can do is GET INFORMED! Read everything about the most common disasters in your area, but also about situations that may occur anywhere in the world: chemical and biological attacks, nuclear attacks and fallout or how to survive a violent mob and keep looters out of your home.

Every weekend, have an emergency drill with your family. One week, it can be for earthquakes, the next one for burglaries and so on. It may seem a bit crazy to your neighbors and even to some members of your family, but remember this: when a disaster does strike, you’ll be so familiar with these survival techniques, they’ll come naturally. And this means you can use fear to your advantage and save your family, while the ones who laughed at you will be making dangerous mistakes every 10 seconds.

I’ll get back with more tested techniques to prepare your mind for disasters and crises next week. Until then, you can work on controlling your emotions using the methods above. Stay safe!

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Prepare Your Mind For The Coming Crisis – Part 5 –

mind preparedness

Coping With Negative Feelings: Extreme Temperatures And Fatigue

This week’s “Coping with negative feelings” revolves around physical states that give you an agonizing mental weakness: extreme cold or heat and fatigue.

Most survival books treat these two feelings only from the physical point of view, but the truth is the impact on your mind is just as devastating. Dealing with situations you’ve never encountered before, such as extreme temperatures or severe fatigue can literally block your entire thinking process, turning you into a vegetable. The weakness takes hold of both your body AND you mind. And it doesn’t give you a friendly warning before doing so.

But with just a little bit of focus and constant mental stimulation, you can overcome these difficult obstacles and fight for your life and your loved ones. And that’s exactly what we’re going to do today: discover the best strategies to fight off weakness and keep yourself alert.

Let’s take them one by one:

#1: Extreme cold or heat

Normally, your body temperature should be somewhere about 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Any increase or decrease in temperature (even 2-3 degrees!) instantly causes you discomfort and makes you less efficient. However, your life won’t be threatened if the change is so slight.

When the body is forced to deal with extreme temperatures, the body tends to slow down its functions to the minimum, to keep the blood pumping to the heart. When that happens, you’ll start feeling numbness in your hands and feet… and then a strong desire to lay down and take a nap.

This is when the weakness sets in and when your mental effort needs to stay at maximum levels, to keep you alive. Whatever you do, you need to resist the temptation of falling asleep. And if there’s anyone else with you that’s got the same symptoms, try to keep them awake, too. And here’s why: If you let your mind stop its conscious activity, your body may stop its functions, also. This means you can easily die in your sleep without even realizing it.

So the best piece of advice I can give you is: KEEP YOUR MIND ALERT AT ALL TIMES!

And do not give into the need to sleep, not even for a quick nap. I am only talking about extreme situations here, of course. If temperatures are not life-threatening, then make sure you don’t get sleep-deprived, because then another problem sets in:

#2: Severe fatigue

During a disaster or a crisis, many people experience fatigue and sleep deprivation. When you’re fighting for your life, sleep is the last thing on your mind. And it is only natural to put in all your energy to make sure your family makes it throughout the disaster.

But after the danger is over (or it’s diminished), sleep should be your #1 priority. And the reasons are quite intuitive:

When you’re extremely tired and sleep deprived, looking for food and water becomes almost impossible. So if you need to feed your family, take a 2-minute nap and then get going. I know it’s hard to fall asleep when you know your family needs you, but just think about this: if you don’t, your loved ones may lose the one they depend on. And, trust me, a 20-minute nap can work wonders on an exhausted body.

When you reach complete exhaustion, you stop being yourself. Your mind is not capable of reasoning anymore and your body listens to no commands. This new you will most likely act like a madman and endanger your own family. This is the moment when you turn from reliable survivor to a burden for the family or even a threat.

So make sure you rest every time you get the chance to and sleep at least 5 hours at night, whenever you can. You may feel guilty for not working more, but remember: you cannot survive without it

If there’s anything you’d like to add, please feel free to do so in the comment section below. Until next time, stay safe!

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