The Survival Podcast Forum

Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics => Emergency Preparations => Topic started by: swanson on December 22, 2008, 09:33:16 AM

Post by: swanson on December 22, 2008, 09:33:16 AM

Part 1.


In a survival situation, your body and mind will become stressed by the circumstances and scenarios you encounter.

Take a moment and imagine what your mind and body will go through when it encounters one of the following –

•   You  are caught on a roadway in the middle of a blizzard miles from home and safety
•   Storm waters are making it impossible for you to leave your home safely as flooding worsens
•   You are confronted by a very drunk and agitated patron at your favorite watering hole
•   You wake up to what sounds like a home invasion and you hear muffled voices downstairs
•   You are on the job and responding to an alarm call and things look to be serious this time

In any of the above situations, your mind and body will automatically react by elevating your heart rate and kicking in your sympathetic nervous system. This reaction to stress will directly affect your physical performance and your mind’s ability to process information accurately.

<Refer to this thread for more… >

So how can you combat this inevitable reaction process and bring yourself to a more calm state?

By breathing…


By mastering your breath you can calm yourself down and bring an elevated heart rate to a more acceptable level for activity and a mind filled with panic and distraction to a more focused and less hyper-vigilant state.

Autogenic breathing is a simple method that can be used to calm yourself down in a crisis scenario.

Here’s an outline for how autogenic breathing works –

(This is based on information and feedback gained from training over 20,000 law enforcement personnel in this technique over the last three years.)

The breathing technique that is being taught to SWAT teams, police departments, Green Beret battalions, and other elite forces around the world (sometimes referred to as “autogenic breathing”) consists simply of a deep, belly breath: breath in for a four-count, hold for a four-count, breath out for a four-count, hold for a four-count, and repeat three times.

This excerpt is from an article by Dave Grossman, entitled, The Psychological Consequences of Killing: Perpetration-Induced Traumatic Stress; Found here –

So… when things seem out of hand and you need to take a step back and center yourself to act and think more clearly- start by controlling your breath and then controlling your situation.

Post by: ColdHaven on December 22, 2008, 10:01:25 AM
+1 Swanson! Excellent topic, and something I think is crucial to life as well as stressful situations.

I find it interesting that they are teaching this. This breathing method is very similar to the breathing techniques used in meditation. Depending on the school of thought or particular philosophy the length of the in breath - hold - out breath differ, but their mode is the same. Usually all three are the same length of time. This does two things. One, it brings your breathing to a manageable level. As the breath goes so does the body. This is not surprising because on the list of vital importance in survival (Air, Water, Food) air is the top need. Since your breathing is lowered your body is actually taking in more oxygen than if you are breathing faster. Just because you breath faster does not mean your body assimilates oxygen into your system faster. In fact, in many situations of stress, deep breathing can benefit the mind and body. Two, you are focusing on something else. Whether it is minute or not, part of your thinking cycle is concentrating on timing the breaths, and so you are not completely overwelmed by what is presented before you in whatever situation that is.

Truth is most people do not breath like how they should. In most stressful situations people will breath shallowly. How this benefits the body is beyond me, but it seems to be an across the board activity we fall into. Deep breathing allows more oxygen to be assimulated into the body and into the brain. To use a gross analogy: if you ate a whole bunch of food and then vomited back up your body did not have enough time to assimulate the food. The same is true of the breath. That means most of us go through the day with oxygen deprived brains (This explains a lot of people out on the road, and at Wal-Mart  ;D )

The in breath of course draws oxygen into the body. Holding the breath allow the body time to assimulate the oxygen into the system, and then exhaling takes all the carbon dioxide out of our bodies. Holding the breath, I believe, also allows your body to breath out more of the carbon dioxide poisons from your system. In short, it makes your breathing more efficient.

Now apply that to a stressful situation and you may completely forget to do this. That is why it is important for people to practice. I recommend to most people who I talk to on this subject to meditate. At least do the breathing exercises. You will eventually see how this effects your body and how much more calm you are during every day life, let alone, a stressful situation like the ones Swanson mentioned above. Once you practice enough it becomes habit. It amazing how doing this sometimes will relieve headaches, and make your brain feel more energized and less tired.
Post by: swanson on December 22, 2008, 06:47:16 PM

+1, Great commentary and further input!!!

Breath is the anchor that makes it all come together...