How To Develop Mental Toughness for Survival Situations

Are you ready for natural disasters or SHTF moments? It’s easy to answer yes if you’ve got canned goods and other survival essentials, but they’re only part of the question. The real test of survival is as much mental and emotional as it is physical. Here are five ways to make sure you have the mental toughness needed to survive anything.

1. Stay in Control

To fight panic, it’s important to feel like you’re in control of something, even if it’s impossible to be in control of everything. Don’t focus on the things you can’t control. Use your energy on things you can change.

Here are a few things you can’t control:

  • The weather
  • Diseases or pandemics
  • Other people
  • Governments
  • The economy

The idea is that if you can’t control something, like a hurricane or forest fire, then it’s a waste of time to worry about it. All you do is spend valuable time and energy. Instead, focus on what you can do in the time you have.

In the case of a forest fire, get your family somewhere safe. For total economic collapse, forget about any worthless paper money and work with the resources you do have, such as fields to cultivate your own food.

2. Prepare a Plan Ahead of Time

It’s way easier to deal with the unexpected when it’s not really unexpected. Force yourself to think about the hard questions right now and come up with answers for them. Don’t wait for a tornado, fire, hurricane, pandemic or civil war to start planning. Make your decisions ahead of time. That way you have a general idea you can run with if you’re under pressure.

3. Protect Your Mind

Let’s talk about breathing exercises for a second. To many guys, the idea of taking a moment for calming down doesn’t sound very manly. It’s hard to imagine Jean-Claude Van Damme or Steve McQueen doing breathing exercises.

But you know who uses these mental relaxation techniques? Green Berets. Spec Ops are trained in deep breathing for combat situations. Here’s how:

  • Force yourself to stop and stand still.
  • Focus on your lungs and slow your breathing.
  • Take five or six slow breaths, exhaling slowly.
  • Focus all your attention on ONE task.
  • Accomplish this task with zero distractions.

This is a legitimate way to increase your focus in high-intensity situations. It doesn’t take more than 10–20 seconds, but the benefits are huge.

4. Learn To Break Complex Problems Into Simpler Tasks

If you look at survival problems all at once, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. The solution is to break one huge disaster into tons of smaller goals, like a marathon runner taking things one mile at a time.

House leveled? Start with the most important things for survival first. Make a shelter to stay protected from the elements. Once that’s done, you’ve increased your survival odds a ton. Next, work on building a fire. After that, figure out what you’re going to do for water and then for food.

5. Just Accept the Adrenaline

Look, the adrenaline is going to be there. How it affects you is up to you. You can let the stress overwhelm you, or your can take advantage of this massive surge in energy to get essential things done. If you prepare mentally ahead of time, adrenaline can be your ally instead of your enemy.

Have another tip to help fellow survivalists stay in control during SHTF? Share your experience below!