On the best of days, it is still possible to experience stress. Regular, everyday occurrences can be stressful with things like kids, work, bills, and so much more weighing on our minds. Coping with stress is easier said than done but is something we should all make an effort to do. Learning to manage your stress, and stress triggers, will go a long way towards keeping you sane and grounded.
Making survival plans just one more thing that can stress you out. What to buy and where to store it, for example, are thoughts that could weigh on your mind. What if you don't have or cannot afford what you feel is necessary to get you through? As you lament these issues time and time again, they loom bigger before you, causing you to get overcome with worry. While worry is hard to avoid, it is an unhealthy burden to carry around with you.
If you are stressed now, before the SHTF, odds are you will also be stressed after. That is when you will need to be at your best, at your strongest and most coherent. Because of this, you need to learn to manage your stress ahead of time, so it is not ultimately your downfall. While it can be debilitating for some of us, others work best under stress. It is the amount of stress and how it affects you personally that will determine your success or failure in a survival situation.
Knowing how your body reacts to stress will help you put a positive spin on it. Natural reactions to stress include a desire to flee or fight. As stress overcomes you, it may be possible for you to notice subtle changes in your body. Adrenaline may be released, you might break out in a sweat, your heart rate and breathing may increase, in addition to other things. That is all a product of your body readying itself to fight or flee. Your body is quick to gear up and get ready, but your body is just a machine for which your mind is responsible. It is your mind that decides, so in a stressful situation, you need to have your mind right.
As your body experiences stress triggers and amps itself up, it works towards exhaustion whether you fight, flee, or do nothing at all. The simple act of your body readying for action can tire it out. The more stress with which you are faced, the quicker you will gas out, and the less dependable your body will be when you need it most. Thus, you must anticipate stressors and establish coping techniques that work for you. This could be as simple as counting backwards from ten with your eyes closed, playing soft music, or squeezing the heck out of stress ball for a minute or two. Once you establish a pattern for stress de-escalation, always keep it handy. If the techniques you incorporate require a device, have one in your BOB or car, but most importantly, have it in your mind. Know what works and remember to use it. Do not let yourself get so overwhelmed by stress that you forget to go to your go-to.
When you prepare for survival, remember that a lot of the normal things we face in our lives will no longer apply. After the SHTF, the car note is not going to matter. You will have a whole new set of stressors. You may have problems with hunger and thirst, isolation, injury, fatigue, death, or even plain old uncertainty. Fear of the unknown can be a huge trigger. Think about the things that stress you out as it stands, and think about the things you fear most in the uncertain future we face. Do not torture yourself with horrifying scenarios-prepare yourself to face them. Research common stress relief and relaxation techniques, then try them out and see what works for you. When it comes time to fight to stay alive, be prepared to fight with anything and everything, except your stress.