In any survival situation, whether you’re in a self-defense scuffle or lost in thick woods, the most important factor remains the same – your mental state. As long as your mind is sound, you will have a much easier time surviving whatever situation you’re in.
In fact, this is the first thing that you’re taught in the US Army Survival Manual. This field manual can be bought in full on Amazon for about $10. The strategy for mental stability that you learn first in this book is S.U.R.V.I.V.A.L., which stands for Sizing up any situation that you’re in, Undue haste makes waste, Remembering where you are, Vanquishing fear and panic, Improvising when you need to, Value-based living, Acting like whatever natives do in the area, and Learning basic, necessary skills.
Doing all of these things will ensure that you are both confident and mentally stable during stressful situations. Many sources consider mental preparedness to be the most important factor between life and death.
WWII and Korea veterans who had to survive the wild and hostile environments of the jungle and forest swear by the effectiveness of being mentally prepared. The main disadvantages of being stressed and freaked out during these times are plentiful.
First, you’ll be less efficient. If you’re confident and feeling good, you’ll get to work on finding food, water, and making shelter – or in a threat situation, protecting your life. However, if you spend your time freaking out and panicking, you’ll barely get anything accomplished, let alone accomplished effectively.
Second, you’ll have less energy. If you’re calm, you won’t waste much energy and will be actively thinking about preserving yourself. If you panic, you may find yourself pacing and wasting time and energy.
This will help you conserve water, food, and other resources. If you aren’t thinking and you’re blowing through everything, you’ll probably run out of water before you know it. This also has an effect on basic self-defense.
For example, if you keep a level head during a fight, you can probably get the upper hand on your opponent – especially if they’re inexperienced. The most important thing you should mentally prepare for in self-defense is the reality that you very well may have to kill your attacker.
For many, this idea is horrible – having to take another human being’s life. You should prepare for this kind of mental anguish in the event that you actually have to take major action that could result in the death of your attacker. Being mentally prepared is more worthwhile than being physically prepared.