July 2007

When Things Go Wrong, There Are Ways To Cope

By Mike Wallace
Superstition Search & Rescue
#4 In A Survival Series

TO THE RESCUE -- By ground, by water, and by air the Superstition Search & Rescue team assists in rescuing thousands of individuals and saving the lives of over 800 people in the past 10 years. SS&R has seen a 44 percent increase in rescues in the last two years. This valuable group of volunteers is a worthy place for your tax-deductible donations; all funds go directly toward equipment, training, and saving lives.


How do we control fear? 

1. Understand your body's natural responses to crisis.  Knowing the signs of the four stages of response will give you a comprehension of what your body is doing and will help you understand when to start managing your emotions.

 2. Fear is mostly of the unknown, although there are things that are real and can threaten your ability to survive.  Define what is real and what is created.

Deal only with real threats.  Fear, unchecked, can lead to panic. If you fail to control panic, it will lead to pure terror. Recognize fear as a natural phenomenon; accept it and stop its progression.

3. A crisis is a good time to rely on spiritual faith

4. As silly as it sounds, talk to yourself. Convince yourself that you are okay. Compliment yourself for the things you are doing right. 

Forgive yourself rapidly for the things that you do wrong and don't let them get you down.  Talk your way through tasks to keep your mind busy.

 5. Set realistic goals for yourself

 6. Understand that most survival situations are temporary and short term.  Only 5 percent of all survival situations go longer than 72 hours.

 7. It is crucial to think positively! To keep your mind and body at peak performance, you must stay up and mentally positive!

 8. Know, and truly believe, that you are going to make it out of this situation, no matter what.  Never waiver from that thought!

 9. Train yourself before hand. Knowledge will replace fear of the unknown.  Understanding how to survive will give you confidence and a positive attitude. 

The last four “principles of survival” are injury management, hydration, maintaining body core temperature, and learning how to be found.  All will be covered in future articles from Superstition Search & Rescue.

For more information, contact Wallace at (480) 228-7733 or (480) 981-5433 or at azsr87@yahoo.com or the team at superstition-sar.org.