June 23, 2012

Four Survival Principles Inspired by Navy Seal training.

At one point in any person’s life they will come across a devastating event where they need to survive.

Survival situations are not just about getting lost in the wilderness. They happened when you lose a loved one, get a divorce, are diagnosed with a terrible health problem, break a leg, or run into situation where you think there is no hope.

Navy Seals are the best of the best when it comes to military and survival training. They also, have one of the hardest trainings regimens in the world.

According to a documentary called the The Brain on the History channel, of the 140 recruits that enter into training only 36 make it past the training.

One of the hardest test is in the pool where recruits have to stay under water for 20 minutes. The recruits are given an oxygen tank filled with air. However, when they get into water they are harassed and put under extreme amounts of pressure.

The instructor will rip of their mask, mess with their air tank and use other tactics to induce panic.

The recruit’s job is not to panic.

They have to accept the fact they are getting attacked under water. Just imagine being in a pool and drowning while someone is attacking you.

Then, as soon as they fend off that attack, another attack at their air supply is coming.

Imagine drowning once in a pool—then coming up for air—then all of a sudden it happens again.

This goes on for twenty minutes. When it’s over you have to go the bottom of the floor pool and kiss the ground. They then are brought back up by the instructor. Unfortunately, a large number of men fail this test because its is extremely difficult.

Positive Attitude (Self Talk)

One of the major principals taught in Navy Seal training is to have positive self talk. You have to first work on changing your attitude about the event. If you’re alone hiking in the everglades, and you fall down and break your leg, you have to accept what just happened to you. Worrying about the situation saps your energy, and you’re going to need all the energy you have to formulate a plan to get out of the situation alive. Start with changing your attitude about the event.

Setting goals (Small Steps)

Seal recruits are taught to make small chunk goals when working on a problem. Develop a plan to get out of the bad situation, start with what resources you have available. There are always resources available if you have the right attitude.

Most importantly start with smalls steps. If you have bad health, start a health plan. If you have a financial problem, start a financial plan. Set up goals for yourself.

Mental Rehearsal (Visualization)

Seal recruits visualize themselves going through motions and taking on all possible problems.

If you’re working on a goal for a problem, visualize it everyday and work on how you’re getting better at it. A lot of professional athletes do this to one degree or another.

Emotional Regulation (Arousal Control)

Seals recruits work on training their breathing, to regulate the fear response.

If you’re facing some hardships, start a meditation practice or work on controlling your breathing when you facing some type of fear. Shift your focus, laughter is a great way to shift your focus away from the event.

As Victor Frankl a man who survived the Nazi Concentration camp says, “Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” His book Mans Search For Meaning is an incredible story about how to have the right attitude for life.


Source:How the Navy Seals Increased Passing Rates  Better passing rates through simple psychology.

Published on November 9, 2009 by Bakari Akil II, Ph.D.



Editor: Kate Bartolotta

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