Stress and Survival Preparedness
by Ken Jorgustin, Modern Survival Blog Stress is “a state of mental tension and worry caused by problems in your life, work, etc.” Stress is something that causes strong feelings of worry or anxiety. Stress is a reaction to pressure, unexpected events, or other ‘overload’ situations that develop. Stress puts a strain on our ability to cope, and makes us feel out of control. Stress may lead to poor decision making and/or inaction. Survival Preparedness however is a solid and effective way to minimize stress from some of the ‘stressors’ that may cause stress. Here’s what I mean… Stressors are events that cause stress. The most common stressors as they relate to survival preparedness include include situations such as excessive heat, cold, thirst, hunger, fatigue, isolation, fear, uncertainty, lack of control, injury, and illness. Any disaster situation, regardless of magnitude, has the likely potential to be a major stressor for anyone – particularly the unprepared. A major stressor in today’s modern world is that of finances. Many people are so over their heads in debt (suffering from excessive spending problems) that this often leads to major stress issues within the household. Reactions to stress. There are natural reactions to stress that need to be recognized and expected, so that strategic interventions can be implemented. Signs (reactions) of stress include fear, anxiety, guilt, anger, panic, aggression, depression. Stress leads to ‘distress’ and may advance to anti social behavior, angry outbursts, difficulty making decisions, unwillingness to accept responsibility, inability to get on with others, and eventual withdrawal. Coping with stress. In order to cope with stress, you must keep your emotions in check, stay as physically relaxed as possible, take constructive action, and use common sense. You might consider the following points: Stop and Accept when you realize that you have a problem or are in trouble. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that what you’re experiencing isn’t a problem, issue or obstacle. Instead, recognize and accept it for what it is. Study any information that you may have discovered about the issue. Get the facts and realities sorted out. Think about what you need to do to mitigate the problem (survive) and consider the consequences if you don’t take action. Use your brain. Envisage, surmise, and understand the situation as best you can. Observe what’s going on. Look for other risks that may factor into the situation or a given potential solution. Look around and inspect the space (tangibly and figuratively) you’re in, and the resources available to you. If the stressor circumstance is broad in scope, then think of the bigger picture. Prepare your plan. Decide how you are going to use your available resources to ease the problematic situation. Do not delay. Remain calm. Think clearly and acutely. Implement. Take action and put your plan in motion! The best prevention for stress is to be prepared. By foreseeing a stressor before it happens, enables you to make a plan for dealing with it – should it happen – thus alleviating the would-be subsequent stress. This is preparedness. If you are currently suffering stress, first figure out where it’s coming from. Then make a willful decision to deal with it (don’t ignore it). Make a plan that will ease or eliminate it. Then implement it! It may not be easy (likely not), but the end results will outweigh the process.