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September « 2012 « Mary Beth Ellis' Blog


Archive for September, 2012

Survival is a state of mind

Saturday, September 15th, 2012

This blog is inspired by my dearest boy, Mr. Fur.  Since Eric and I don’t yet have children, we both feel like he is our son.  He has cancer and just had to have his front leg amputated.  It has been very hard for Eric and me to watch him struggle.  Yet, despite the cancer and his amputation, Mr. Fur seems undaunted.  He is still smiley and happy albeit with some struggles to maintain his active life.  We are hopeful that he will continue to thrive and beat the cancer. For me, watching Mr Fur has inspired me to think about adapting and overcoming challenges.  Mr Fur survives because he knows no other way to react.

I stumbled upon this definition of Survival: Survival is the art of surviving beyond any event. To survive means to remain alive; to live. Survival is taking any given circumstance, accepting it, and trying to improve it, while sustaining your life until you can get out of the situation. And most importantly, survival is a state of mind.

Here are the tips for Survival adapted from emergency situation survival but also apply sport but more importantly to life.

Survival depends a great deal on a person’s ability to withstand stress. Your brain is without doubt your best survival tool. It is your most valuable asset in a survival situation. It isn’t always the physically strong who are the most effective or better at handling fear. To adapt is to live. Mental skills are much more important than physical skills. A person’s psychological reactions to the stress of survival can often make them unable to utilize their available resources. You most likely won’t use your physical skills if you don’t have a positive mental attitude.

One definitely must be in the proper frame of mind to survive. Attitude or psychological state is most certainly number one.  With the proper attitude almost anything is possible. To make it through the worst a strong will or determination to live is needed.

A positive attitude has a very strong influence on the mentality and motivation necessary for setting a goal. Set goals give motivation and attitude necessary to survive pressures.  A person with a stubborn strong will power can conquer many obstacles. Never give up your goal to live.

While in your survival situation you will be confronted with many problems that you will need to overcome. Your brain will be your best asset but it could also be your most dangerous enemy. You will have to defeat negative thoughts and imaginations, and also control and master your fears. You will need to shift mental processes and adopt that positive and optimistic “can do attitude”. You will need to be creative and use your ability to improvise to adapt to the situation.

To keep your body alive you must react to your body’s problem indicators and defend yourself against the major enemies of survival. Always remember to keep your positive mental attitude. Don’t add any extra burden to yourself by falling into a destructive mental state like feeling self-pity or hopelessness. Remember the important aspects of your life and don’t let the image fade.

Loneliness is a survival enemy that can hit you without warning. It will strike you when you realize you are the only person around who you can depend on while in your situation. Nowadays modern society barely gives us a chance to test our ability to adapt to silence, loss of support, and separation from others.

Make sure to avoid fatigue. Fatigue is the overuse of the muscles and the mind and is a serious threat.

Hunger and thirst are enemies that can really depress your positive mental attitude. Lack of nutrition could make you more susceptible to depression.

Fear is a big enemy to guard against. Fear is a completely normal reaction for anyone faced with an out of ordinary situation that threatens his important needs. You need to accept that fear is a natural reaction to a hazardous situation and try to make the best of your predicament.

Do your very best to control your fears. Be realistic. Don’t let your imagination make mountains out of mole hills. Expect fear and learn to recognize it. Live with fear and understand how it can alter your effectiveness.  Maintain your positive mental attitude.

A more dangerous enemy than fear is panic. Panic is an uncontrolled urge to run or hurry from the situation. Panic is triggered by the mind and imagination under stress. It results from fear of the unknown, lack of confidence, not knowing what to do next, and a vivid imagination. Fear can build up to panic and cause a person to make a bad situation worse.

Keeping a positive mental outlook is for certain the most important aspect of survival. While in a survival situation you will practice self-reliance. You will only be able to depend on yourself and your abilities. You will have to overcome many challenges that you are not accustomed to. Prepare for the worst but hope for the best.

I hope you’re inspired by Mr Fur to survive and thrive through all life throws at you.  Eric and I both hope that he is around for many years and years to come.