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Learn From the Best:The US Navy SEAL- How to Survive Any Situation With Mental Preparation [VIDEO]

 

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The U.S. Navy SEALs are among the most courageous men on earth. Their secret: mental conditioning. Learn their secrets and you, too, can conquer any fear says an article in Men’s Health magazine.

According to the article, the SEALs are fearless because of the training they undergo. Their secret is what psychologist call habituation. This simply means the more you’re exposed to something that you initially fear, they less it will fear you and eventually you become immune to it. You get used to it.

This is mind over matter situation. Sergeant Bill Cullen of the First Battalion of the Fourth Marines says, “Essentially, you’re bending the body’s software to control its hardware. It works standing over a putt on the 18th green. It works shooting a final-second free throw. It works banging down a door with a bad guy on the other side.”

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Graduating as a SEAL is not all about being physically fit, Lieutenant Commander Mike H of executive officer of SEAL Team 10, says, “Today, our primary weapons systems are our people’s heads. You want to excel in all the physical areas, but the physical is just a prerequisite to be a SEAL. Mental weakness is what actually screens you out.”

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The articles reports that recent experiments at tops institutions in the world including Harvard, Columbia, the University of California at Irvine, have started to solve the mystery of both primal fear and remembered fear. Previously it was thought that once an animal has “learned” to be afraid of something, that memory never vanishes from the animal’s amygdala. But Gregory Quirk, Ph.D., and researcher Kevin Corcoran, of the University of Puerto Rico school of medicine, have discovered that we can overlay our bad memories — and the emotions they evoke — by forming new memories in the brain’s prefrontal cortex that supersede those stored in the amygdala.

You have to repeat an action, any action, over and over, with the knowledge that you are “unlearning” the bad memory. Lieutenant Commander Eric Potterat, Ph.D., a Naval Special Warfare Command psychologist, quotes Hamlet on the subject: “‘There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.’

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Eric Potterat relates this study to sports and described the difference between winners and losers. “Physically, there’s very little difference between athletes who win Olympic gold and the rest of the field. It’s like the SEAL candidates we see here. Terrific hardware. Situps, pushups, running, swimming — off the charts, superhuman. But over at the Olympic center, the sports psychologists found that the difference between a medal and no medal is determined by an athlete’s mental ability. The elite athletes, the Tiger Woodses, the Kobe Bryants, the Michael Jordans — this is what separates them from the competition. Knowing how to use information.”

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“Being a warrior, being what you call ‘brave,’ requires attention to something greater than just martial activity,” says Master Chief Will Guild, a 27-year SEAL veteran who runs a mentorship program for incoming candidates. “These men are problem solvers, and there are many ways to solve problems. I think you have to be ready to do whatever it takes, and that includes using diplomacy.

“There’s no shortage of physical courage in the SEALs or Marine Corps or any active military branch of the service. Moral courage is something else. And if you want to inspire moral courage in your troops, you have to teach them how to make decisions.” he continues.

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Human beings can adapt to the very harshest of environments. Viktor Frankl, the famous Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist, who is also a Holocaust survivor said, “if someone now asked of us the truth of Dostoevski’s statement that flatly defines man as a being who can get used to anything, we would reply, yes, a man can get used to anything, but do not ask us how”

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Psychologists and neuroscientists now agree conquering fear is simply suppressing a fright reaction by repeatedly confronting, the fear-triggering memory or stimulus – facing your fears. For specific phobias, up to 90 percent of people can be cured through such exposure therapy, says David Barlow, director of Boston University’s Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders.

So the secret to courage is putting yourself in the same difficult situation or hostile environment on a consistent basis, day in day out, or doing a seemingly difficult action over and over, a million times, until you not longer have any emotional attachment to that situation, environment, or action. You become immune to it. You become part of it.

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Stress in a Survival Situation

100916-N-7981E-303 SAN DIEGO (September 16, 2010)-  Chief Information Systems Technician Joseph Valencia, assigned to Navy Marine Corps Intranet Detachment, San Diego, sheds tears as his mentor places the cover of a Chief Petty Officer on his head for the first time during a pinning ceremony held in the Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30 hangar at Naval Base Coronado. Twenty selectees from various San Diego area commands were pinned to the rank of Chief Petty Officer during the ceremony. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class James R. Evans / RELEASED)

In the pursuit to prepare yourself for your reactions in a survival setting, it is helpful to know a little bit about stress in general.

Stress is not an ailment that you can discover and cure. Instead, it is a condition that we all experience at one point or another. Stress is a natural reaction to pressure. It can also (I believe more accurately) be described as the psychological experience a person has as they respond to life’s challenges.

As strange as it sounds, stress can have many positive benefits when handled correctly. Stressful situations give us a chance to learn about our strengths and weaknesses. Stressful situations can spotlight our adaptability, and can stimulate us to do more than we thought possible. More than anything else, stress is a key indicator on an instinctive level of how serious a situation is.

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The objective of any survival situation is simple; stay alive. The complicated portion of a survival situation is that when you come to terms with what the consequence of failure is, you are going to experience a wide assortment of thoughts and emotions. These thoughts and emotions can serve as motivation to continue on regardless of the circumstance, or they can be the cause of your downfall.

It is important to understand that fear, anxiety, anger and frustration are all possible emotions a person can experience due to the stresses of a survival situation. Having personal confidence and survival skills will not eliminate these stresses altogether, but will help you to use these stresses as a motivational factor rather than an inhibitor. These reactions, when understood and controlled in the proper way, can exponentially increase your chances of survival. They can help you to pay closer attention to your surroundings, to take actions to ensure safety and security, and to strive against massive odds.

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What Can You Do to Prepare?

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Preparation for a survival situation is, at its core, an extremely personal matter. Due to the mental aspect that has to be taken into account, many techniques that work for some will not work for all. There is no “one size fits all” list of things you must do or skills you must possess to survive an emergency. This is why learning a wide range of skills, then practicing and perfecting those you feel most valid is the best way to increase preparedness. The more value you see in a skill, the more motivated you will be to practice the skill to perfection.

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Where to Start

While the way you prepare must fit your specific needs and abilities, the following are a few generalized points that may help to steer you in the right direction and give you the confidence to handle any given situation.

  • Try to anticipate your fears by thinking about what would scare you the most if faced with a survive situation. Make an honest assessment of your skills in relation to these fears and develop those areas you find lacking.
  • Keep in mind what is at stake. This will help you to commit to improving the strengths and abilities you have, and help you to focus when learning new skills. Failure to prepare for survival properly can have dire consequences.
  • Stay positive. Even when preparing for the worst, always hope for the best. There is no more valuable tool in any emergency situation than your own mind.
  • Practice your skills. More importantly, practice several variations of the same skill, use different materials, different methods, and different tools in different environments. Not only will this make each skill more entertaining, it will ensure that the skill being practiced can be used even in unfavorable circumstances.
  • Keep it real. The more realistic and practical the preparation is, the less overwhelming an actual emergency will be.

In addition, focus on continuous training. The best training practices are repetitious, in which a skill is learned, practiced, perfected, confidence is built, and then the process is repeated with another skill or variation of the same skill. Following this process not only means that your skills will continuously improve, but will also increase your overall confidence in your ability.

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Yes, You Can

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Keep in mind that survival is a primal instinct that everyone possesses. The mentality needed to overcome when being unexpectedly faced with an emergency situation is ingrained into each and every human being. These “primal instincts” can be magnified with the proper preparation, skills and practice. Don’t be afraid of your natural reactions to un-natural situations, instead, capitalize on these reactions to sharpen your focus on the key objective; survival.

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US Army Survival Training Video: The Psychology of Survival

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Source:http://www.exploresmos.org

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