Do you have to wait for extremes to survive?

by DavalosMcCormack on July 25, 2008

Did you know that when you help others during times of disaster, natural or otherwise, your odds of survival dramatically increase. Yes, just by helping. This is chronicled in a book by John Leach who is the author of “Survival Psychology”. Here’s what happens. During a disaster, if you take on the job of helping, your mind transforms you from a victim to a rescuer and that simple attitude shift improves your chances of getting out of the situation alive.

It was a phenomenon that Dr. Leach documented from studies of Nazi concentration camps where people who reached out, took control and helped others had a better survival rate.

Lt. Col Dr. Bruce Jesson, a psychologist with the Department of Defense, says the most critical factor when someone finds themselves in a hostile environment – and the difference between life and death – is a positive state of mind. “Survival is psychology, your head makes decisions about how you perceive the threat you’re faced with – whether you are going to approach it with realistic optimism or whether you feel overwhelmed and perish.” So, what does that mean to you?

Well it seems to me, “Why wait for a disaster?” You don’t have to be in the midst of a crisis or a disaster in order to use this information. When we help others we always have a sense of being needed, a sense of giving which in turn gives us a sense that we matter. Doing something for others can be a step out of feeling you are isolated, alone and unnecessary.

In other words you become a doer and are no longer the victim of circumstances. Besides if you take responsibility for others in your daily life, if and when disaster does eventually strike you will already be practiced at being a selfless person whose second nature is to help others. And in doing so you help yourself. It’s being selfless and selfish all at the same time.

It’s proven that a positive attitude can change not only the way you see yourself in society, but it could save your life. It’s a life worth saving don’t you think!

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