Stress can have extremely damaging effects on the body if not properly managed or avoided. Survival situations are hard enough without adding the chaos caused by stress.
According to the American Institute of Stress (AIS) some of the more dangerous symptoms include: Difficulty concentrating, racing thoughts, Difficulty in making decisions, Feeling overloaded or overwhelmed, Feelings of loneliness or worthlessness, Overreaction to petty annoyances, Excessive defensiveness or suspiciousness, Increased anger, frustration, hostility.
If you know what causes you stress, plan for or avoid it. Some people need to feel that they are supported, in control, have something to look forward to, or just that they know what to do next.
Tips for Avoiding Stress in Survival Situations
- Prepare for stressful survival situations by organizing your gear and keeping enough of what you need in an easy to access place.
- Listen more than you talk. If you’re already experiencing some of the symptoms of stress, rambling and babbling won’t make you or anyone else feel better. Maybe, if you’re with sensible, intelligent, or entertaining people, you may hear something that will make you feel better.
- If you can’t stand it, avoid it. The power is out, you’ve been cold all day, all your food is spoiling, and now you’re at a chain restaurant seated next to a family with three toddlers and they’re singing in rounds. You don’t have to sit there. On most non-Friday/Saturday nights, you don’t have to wait for a table at a chain restaurant or you can sit at the bar. There is nothing wrong with seeing that family that you know will stress you out and saying, “Can we sit over there?” Sure your hostess might think you’re a bit picky but I’ve never had they say no. Sometimes, “That table will be a few minutes. Because that server is slow and the busboy is getting high in the parking lot.” Or something.
- Take care of yourself. Sleep when tire, eat when hungry, and get some mental and physical exercise in.
- Laugh. Just like avoiding things that bother you, seek out things that please you. There’s no need to wallow in the disastrousness of a disaster. Accept that your situation is different than it was and try to find something good.