Controlling Fear in Preppers by Eliminating Negative Self-Talk
Fear has always been a problem for the military, and until recently they weren’t quite sure what to do about it. But within the last decade the navy commissioned studies and implemented programs on how to deal with fear.
Fear &The Navy Program
They’ve decreased their washout rate in the SEAL program by 8% – impressive when you consider it involves overcoming the very real fear of drowning. In this post we’ll discuss their program, and learn how to implement its most effective features into our preps.
There are four techniques to their regime. We’ll be starting with the one we should all be addressing daily. It’s called negative self-talk, and only recently has the neuroscience behind how it works been discovered.
Fear Is Not Your Fault
According to geneticists, about 75,000 years ago humanity underwent a brain upgrade. And like some upgrades do, it went sideways almost immediately. Named “the default mode network,” this unique mutation caused humans to start hearing an inner narrative not experienced before by any member of our species. Suddenly people were hearing voices that seemed to be coming out of nowhere. Anthropologist speculate some went insane. Others began acting on the new and sometimes homicidal suggestions echoing in their minds. By now modern man has become accustom to this, not realizing it’s abnormal. Every waking hour we hear our inner voice remind us of what we’ve done wrong, and what we’re going to do wrong. Over, and over, and over. It’s relentless. And while it shuffles the words from time to time, the basic message remains the same – “you suck, you always have, and you’re going to die!”
This video shows how the Navy program is set up to help candidates deal with fear:
The Mechanism is on Autopilot
The Brain is an Organ that Secretes Thoughts in the Same Way the Stomach Secretes Acid
Neuroscientists have counted the rate at which the network speaks – and impressive 300-1000 words a minute. The navy took this seriously, and began teaching candidates to become aware of this automatic self-slaughter and to take action. At this level of military training no one is a “boot camp maggot” any longer. This situation is for reals as they say, and young warriors now practice identifying and replacing negative dialog with positive and encouraging inner chatter. They report it takes time, after all it involves breaking a lifelong and genetically driven habit. But it’s a perfect place for preppers to start, and may come easier to them as they’re already in the habit of preparing themselves. Read more about mindfulness training.
Take Home Message: The default mode network is an interconnected group of nodes in the brain that grows more complex as one ages. It kicks in when you are not focused on some specific task, and specializes in telling you how bad things are. But it can be reprogrammed by recognizing when it’s active, and overriding it with your own positive dialog. If it wasn’t effective, would the SEALs be teaching it to their young?
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