Psychology of SHTF Survival


Psychology of SHTF Survival

John J. Woods
Magnolia Outdoor Communications


One of the toughest parts of survival is the mind game you are forced to play. Being alone or with minimal human contact for an extended period of time has a way of working against even the best trained preppers. You can have all the gear, guns and supplies in the world, but if your mind does not stay in the game, you are more likely to lose in the end.

Theories abound on how to deal with the psychological aspects of survival. They run the gamut from “man up” to psyche up, endure and all those words of encouragement designed to help you grin and bear it. Sometimes these coaching tactics work with some people, but more often than not if other constructive active engagements are not applied, then it is tough to recover once you become totally discouraged.

The biggest part of this aspect of survival is to practice for it just like all the other prepper skills you might acquire or hone to a fine edge. Going on extended trial trips, camping, hiking, staying alone for several days will shed light and insights into the factors that might impact your long term survival potential. Psych survival is an acquired skill, too.

One of the keys if you are in a survival situation is to plan to stay occupied. Have plenty laid out to do each day. This means both physically and mentally. Have work projects laid out and progress on those incrementally to finish them. Then go to the next project. Working on multiple projects not a bad idea either. Other than work, plan for some exercise even if just walking, gathering firewood, fishing, cooking, anything to stay active.

Mentally, work on a diary, continue to add to planning notebooks, and mental exercises. Even doing things like puzzles, word searches, crosswords and such can help to keep the mind stimulated. Work on writing a book sounds funny, but it may have two consequences of keeping your mind active and producing a document of your experiences at the same time.

All of these along with a mixed combination of tasks, exercise and games can help you push through the trials of each day during a SHTF survival scenario. All of these activities will help you fight loneliness and other bouts of depression. It is easier said than done, but plan ahead for the head games along with supplying needs and security.

Avatar Author ID 67 - 1363058526

Award winning outdoor writer/photographer since 1978. Over 3000 articles and columns published nationally. Field & Stream Hero of Conservation in 2007. Fields of writing includes hunting most game in American, Canada, and Europe, fishing fresh and saltwater, destination travel, product reviews, industry consulting, and conservation issues. Currently VP at largest community college in Mississippi in economic development and workforce training with 40 years of experience in Higher Education. BS-MS in wildlife sciences from MO. University, and then a PhD in Industrial Psychology. Married with two children and Molly the Schnoodle.

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