Fear. We all experience it at some time or another. It is that feeling of anxiety we get when the outcome of something threatens our well-being and safety.
In today’s 21st century world, there is a lot of fear. It comes in many guises and is almost palpable:
- Fear of a natural disaster
- Fear of the collapse of our monetary system and the economy
- Fear of anarchy and civil unrest
- Fear of nuclear or chemical contamination
- Fear of unemployment
- Fear of getting old and death
- Fear of a terrorist attack
- Fear of the end of the world or TEOTWAWKI
Yes, these are uncertain times and coping with just one of these fears can be challenging if not debilitating. So how does one cope? How does one put up a wholesome front faced with such uncertainties and concern for the personal welfare of one’s self and one’s family?
I am not a mental health professional so what I have to offer is not professional advice. Instead, I offer my own 10 commandments for staying sane in a world where there are more questions than answers.
SurvivalWoman’s Ten Commandments for Conquering Fear
1. Knowledge is king
If something scares you, do your research and learn as much as you can so that you can understand the whys and wherefores. Be curious and embrace your new found knowledge. Here is an example: I used to have a fear of flying in airplanes. In order to conquer that fear, I studied the aerodynamics of planes so that, in simple terms, I realized that even in turbulent conditions, the aircraft could fly.
2. Appreciate the moment
Many fears are based on things that you have no control over. That is not likely to change unless you are connected in some way to a supreme being. So, instead of fretting about things you can not control, appreciate and embrace those things you can. Appreciate the moment and your ability to exercise free will. And whatever you do, don’t look back and browbeat yourself over the past. What is done is done. Move on and live in the moment.
3. Live with a passion
Even those on a limited budget can find something they love to do whether it is gardening, reading, hiking, watching movies or something else. Whatever your passion, pursue it with gusto and embrace your passion whenever fear strikes you to the bone. Hobbies can be a wonderful panacea for setting fear aside and taking your mind off the woes of the world.
4. Communicate with nature
These are tough times for our planet and yet there is still a wondrous beauty in every sunset, in every lake and stream, and in glorious, snow-capped mountains. Get out there and enjoy the birds singing, the rippling waves, and the smell of fresh air. You will feel a lot better for the experience.
5. Surround yourself with love
Coping with day to day drama is a lot easier if you have someone share your concerns and fears. Everyone needs to be hugged and to give a hug in return. Do not discount the miracle of a light touch when it comes to reducing stress.
6. Get a pet
The great thing about pets, and especially dogs and cats, is that they love you unconditionally. They sense your frustration and your fear and will cuddle up to you at just the right moment. They will lick the tears from your face when you are sad and will and provide you with companionship when there is no one around.
7. Count your blessings
When times are bad and you think they are going to get worse, count your blessings. Yes, at the time you may think those blessings are few, but if you can come up with five or six – or heck – even one – wrap yourself it and make that blessing your focus. Take your blessings and use them as a springboard for optimism going forward.
8. Exercise and maintain good health
A strong and healthy body goes a long way toward making you feel positive about life, even in the face of dissension and chaos. One of the best ways to maintain good health is to exercise and maintain the proper weight for your height and build. Get yourself a pair of athletic shoes or hiking books and get walking. Overweight? Try the Dukan Diet, the The 4-Hour Body or one of the many other weight loss regimes out there. Your self-image will improve as you get fit and a great self-image will make facing uncertainties a lot easier.
9. Enjoy the journey
The uncertainties we face in the 21st century are truly frightening and in many respects we as individuals feel impotent and powerless to affect change. Instead of succumbing to fear, turn the frightening event or circumstance into an adventure. Become educated (see #1) then figure out a way to do something – anything – to proactively overcome your anxiety. Taking even a modicum of control will alleviate fear. And for heavens sake, as you take control, enjoy the journey!
10. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst
You knew this was coming, right?
Hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Hope is the belief that circumstances in the future will be better. Recognize that there will be times when hope may seem impossible. When that happens, consciously work on your personal mindset for without hope, there will be no future. Even the gloom and doom in Cormac McCarthy’s The Road ended in a message of hope.
The corollary is to be prepared. Put together a 3-day pack with those items you will need if a disaster strikes. Store some extra food and water. Gather all of your important documents and make copies or put them on a flash drive for safekeeping. By being prepared, you take back control over an uncertain future. You will be as ready as humanly possible and if the SHTF, you will be secure in the knowledge that you have done the very best that you can to survive.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
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Backdoor Survival Tip of the Day: Do you have sock monster living in your home? I keep a jar of safety pins next to the hamper and pin my socks together before they go in to the wash. The added bonus is that the socks are all matched up and ready to go after they come out of the wash.
From the Bargain Bin: Current SurvivalWoman picks. Remember, the small commission I earn on your purchases help support the cost of maintaining Backdoor Survival and the purchase of new gear for review.
Quake hold: This is a great product for securing your stuff to tables and shelves in the even of an earthquake. Heck, I even use it to secure cables to moldings and to keep hanging items on the wall tilting when someone walks by. Since it only takes a little bit to do the job, a package or two will last for years. A bargain for $5.00.
Sabre Family Home and Property Protection Pepper Spray (13.0-Ounce): From the company that makes bear defense sprays, this pepper spray has a range of 30 feet and can be mounted right near the door. SurvivalWoman is a big believer in pepper spray, especially for those not trained in the use of firearms. You just never know.
550lb. Type III Paracord 100′ Black: I wish I had known about Paracord years ago. With a recent price reduction to $7.47, there is no reason not to have a few hundred feet around your home, in your car, and in your bug out bag.
Emergency Essentials has the Volcano Stove with the propane option on sale for $129.99 which is just slightly more than the non-propane version that I purchased a couple of weeks ago (and reviewed last week). Emergency Essentials is your source for all things preparedness, from prepackaged foods to water barrels, to go bag kits.
Survival Gear Bags: What? You have not checked out the custom Gear Bag designed especially for Backdoor Survival readers?
The Survival Store: The Backdoor Survival Store is now at www.thesurvivalstore.net. Here you will find all of those great products from Amazon that have been mentioned in my articles. I will soon be adding products from other vendors as well. The dust is still settling and there is still a lot of work to be done but I hope you will pop on over and check things out. Making a purchase from Amazon is a great way to support this blog and for that I say THANK YOU!
Have a Food Storage Tip? Announcing the first ever Backdoor Survival contest. I am looking for the very best in long term food storage tips. Have something to share? Send your favorite food storage tips to [email protected] At the end of August, the submitter of the best tip will win a copy of Jan’s Fabulous Food Storage Recipes.