Today we will be talking about fear. For this emotion is one of the more common emotions that every survivalist faces. So are you the type of person who freezes up when they are afraid? Or do you count to 10 and remain level headed?
What is fear?
Fear is an emotion induced by a perceived threat which causes entities to quickly pull far away from it and usually hide. It is a basic survival mechanism occurring in response to a specific stimulus, such as pain or the threat of danger.
In short, fear is the ability to recognize danger leading to an urge to confront it or flee from it (also known as the fight-or-flight response) but in extreme cases of fear (horror and terror) a freeze or paralysis response is possible. (What a great description of Fear from our dear friend Wikipedia)
How a person reacts to fear depends more upon the individual and the training they have had, than it does upon the situation. This has been demonstrated in actual survival situations, where the rescued person tells the police, news that even though they were afraid, they still did what had to be done to survive. It isn’t always the strongest or the people who are always positive who handle fear most effectively. Shy, anxious people have met emergencies with remarkable coolness and strength.
Some people are at their best when they are scared. Many people faced with emergencies or survival situations have been surprised at how quickly they could think and react, and what strength they had. The experience gave them a new confidence in themselves, helping them to overcome the situation. Some people become paralyzed with fear when faced with the simplest emergency or survival situation. If you recognize that you have a tendency to freeze when scared, you can snap out of it, before it is too late.
Anyone who faces life-threatening emergencies or a survival situation experiences fear. Fear is conscious when it results from a recognized situation or when experienced as apprehension of impending disaster. Fear also occurs at a subconscious level and creates feelings of uneasiness, general discomfort, worry, or depression. Fear may vary widely in intensity, duration, and frequency of occurrence, and affect behavior from mild uneasiness to complete disorganization and panic.
“When fantasy distorts a moderate danger into a major catastrophe, or vice versa, behavior can become abnormal. There are no sharp lines between recklessness and bravery. It is necessary to check behavior constantly to maintain proper control.”
Signs and symptoms of fear
One or more of these signs may appear in a person who is afraid, by recognizing these will allow you to overcome fear or help someone else overcome what they are afraid of. These signs may or may not present themselves with fear, and some of these signs will also appear in other emotions besides fear.
- Quickening of pulse or trembling
- Pupil dilation
- Increased muscular tension and fatigue
- Perspiration of palms of hands and armpits
- Dryness of mouth and throat
- Higher pitch of voice when talking
- Stammering/stuttering of words when speaking
- Feeling of “butterflies in the stomach,” emptiness
of the stomach, faintness, and nausea
- Irritability & increased hostility
- Talkativeness in early stages, leading finally to
- Confusion, forgetfulness, and inability to concentrate.
- Feelings of unreality, flight, panic, or stupor.
How to control your fear
You cannot run away from fear, there is no limit to what a human can do to control their fear. All a person has to do is adapt the way they handle fear and take actions to control fear. In order to control your fear, you need to understand and admit that fear exists. Then you need to train yourself how to react in fearful situations. Training can help you recognize your fears and allow you to take a step back and assess the situation.
We always say that practice makes perfect, and to go out and practice all of your emergency and survival skills, because the day you need them you might be afraid and if you cannot control your fear, you will not be able to think, plan, or remain level headed.
Effectively coping & learning to control fear
1–By using training opportunities & practicing your survival skills, you will develop confidence. By increasing your confidence and knowledge base of emergency preparedness and survival skills will allow you to perform these tasks when under extreme stress or fear.
2–Keeping yourself physically and mentally fit is just one of the many things you need to do to learn to control your fear.
3–Learn as much as possible about all aspects of survival & emergency equipment; how to use, when to use.
4–Be prepared. Accept that it can happen to me. As preppers we are always properly equipped and clothed at all times, and have a plan ready. The prepper mindset of “Hope for the best but prepare for the worst” fits nicely here.
5–Keep informed, know when danger threatens and be prepared if it comes.
6–Keep busy; Prevent hunger, thirst, fatigue as these can lead to being afraid.
7–Be a team player, we hear that since childhood, but in emergency & survival situations you have to be able to work together.
8–Mind over matter; think positive, and stay focused on your goals, while keeping everything else in perspective. Learn to tolerate discomfort.
9– Practice discipline. Attitudes and habits of discipline developed in training such as martial arts, scouts, etc. carry over into other situations. A disciplined group has a better chance of survival than an undisciplined group.
10– Lead by example; if you remain calm, and show that you are in control of your emotions then you can effect others into remaining calm and in control. The saying of a mob starts with just one person screaming and acting out turns a situation or a group of people into a mob, think a shark feeding frenzy.