The Surviving Mentality – How to Think to Survive

Obviously a significant part of prepping is taking the necessary action to become prepared for a disaster. This includes stockpiling plenty of food and water, learning how to become self-sustainable, having outlined several disaster plans for different scenarios, and becoming trained in the art of self-defense, first aid, and foraging for food.

But there’s one more aspect of prepping that you might have overlooked, even if you’ve done or are in the process of doing each of the things that we’ve outlined above, and that is having the right mentality to survive. The reason why survival mentality is so important is because it’s really the only thing that will keep you alive. No matter how strong your stockpiles are, how skilled you have become, or how many plans you have prepared, all of that will be useless if you do not have the willpower and the determination to survive.

Prepping is a huge responsibility that you take upon yourself for the protection of your family in the event of a disaster. You may think that your straightforward but strong desire to keep each of your family members alive is the only kind of survival mentality that you need, but the truth is that the surviving mentality is more than just the willpower to survive. It’s how you must think to survive as well.

Most survival and disaster preparedness experts would agree that the surviving mentality is one of the most crucial steps in preparing for the worst to happen.

What’s more, is that the surviving mentality doesn’t just hold true for outlasting a disaster scenario. It’s equally true for a wilderness survival situation such as becoming lost in the forest or your vehicle breaking down out in the desert.

In This Article, We Will Learn About The Basic Fundamentals And Principles Of The Surviving Mentality:

The willpower to survive


Obviously if you want to think how to survive, you have to have the willpower to survive too. That is why deciding that you must survive is the first step of the surviving mentality.However, deciding to survive is also a more challenging decision than you may think.

The reason for this is because stress is your number one enemy, from a mental or emotional point of view, in a survival situation. The moment you realize that you are lost or stranded out in the wilderness, or the moment after disaster strikes, it is only natural to want to react with panic and stress. But you can’t let either of these things overwhelm you at the same time. Our next principle will deal with how you can mange panic and stress, but for now you want to focus on adopting the willpower to survive.

Simply telling yourself that you will survive actually goes a long way to boosting your willpower. Also ask yourself what will happen if you don’t act, specifically what will happen to your family. Do you want anything bad to happen to them? Obviously you don’t and that too goes a long way to boosting your willpower early on in the survival situation.

Handling stress and panic


Like we just said, panic and stress will be two of your biggest mental and emotional enemies in a survival situation. There will undoubtedly be moments in your survival situation where you feel more stressed than other moments, but there are still basic techniques you can use to keep it under control when it flares up again.

For example, simply taking slow and deep breaths for a minute or two will lower your heart rate and give you mental control over yourself. Once your heart rate and mind calms down, you are then in a much better position to think about what you need to do and think from a more rational point of view.

Boosting morale

campfire-at-wilderness-campsite-225x300It’s important that you keep morale high in a survival situation, though it’s easy to see why this will be hard. If you’re running low on supplies or if help doesn’t appear to be on the way, it’s perfectly understandable why your spirits won’t exactly be high. Yes, you can have hope that things will return normal for you once the survival situation is over, but like we said, if your supplies are running low and there doesn’t appear to be any way out, hope can only get you so far.

Fortunately, there is one trick up your sleeve that you can use to boost your morale, and that is to remind yourself of what you have accomplished so far.From getting a fire going to keep yourself warm, to keeping your family fed while bugging in, to signaling for help, to purifying water and keeping your personal hygiene standards up are all examples of steps that you have undertaken and completed to ensuring your survival.

If you’ve been successful at these things, then what’s to stop you from continuing to be successful at them? And if you continue to be successful at completing these tasks aimed at your survival, then what’s to stop you from surviving and outlasting the situation? Plain and simple, continuing to remind yourself of the tasks that you have completed for your survival will keep your morale levels boosted.


Earlier in this article, we mentioned how the surviving mentality isn’t just about giving yourself the willpower to survive, but that it’s also about thinking how to survive too. This is where strategizing comes in. If you manage to keep your stress controlled and keep your morale boosted, you will have the emotional capacity to formulate a simple and effective plan and backup plans aimed at keeping you alive.

While strategizing, you want to take all factors into account, from the amount of food and water you have, to the number of ways you have available to gather more of it, to the environment and the climate, to any physical or mental injuries in your group, and then to what your series of goals are in order.
Once you’ve decided what your goals are in the survival situation, assign different tasks to different people (assuming you’re in a group) so that multiple goals can be accomplished in a timely manner. Remember that the more tasks you complete, the more your morale will be boosted too.

Everyone in your group should be doing something for survival and while a leader should be established, everyone’s opinion should be taken into account so that the situation can be examined from multiple perspectives.

This is what the surviving mentality is all about: finding the willpower to survive, keeping your stress levels down and your morale high, and coming up with a plan that assigns important tasks to different people best suited to complete that task and gradually working towards your goal of outlasting the survival situation.

Dave Steen

About The Author: Dave is a 58 year old survivalist; father of three; with over 40 years of survival experience. He started young, learning survival the hard way, in the school of hard knocks. Now, after years of study, he's gray-haired and slightly overweight. That hasn't dimmed his interest in survival though. If anything, Dave has a greater commitment to survival than ever, so that he can protect his family. Click Here To Read More About Dave

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