Why is mental strength important in survival

Here’s Why Mental Strength is Important for Survival

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Things can get rough quite easily in the wilderness. What is more, you can equip yourself with all the survival tools and still not be able to handle fear in a potentially life-threatening situation. In such circumstances, assets and physical skills don’t matter as much as mental skills do. And this brings us to the question – why is mental strength important in survival?

Because your survival chances largely depend on your ability to cope with stress, adequately react to danger, and properly use all available resources.

If you are mentally strong, chances are – you will be more willing to fight, respond to a threat and eventually overcome it. 

Mental fortitude is what will get you out alive of any deathtrap so make sure to work on your reaction to stress before embarking on dangerous ventures.

Here’s what Bear Grylls himself has to teach you about this very subject!

How does Your Brain Impact Your Survival Chances in the Wilderness?

The brain has a huge effect on our survival chances as it governs our decisions, reactions, and judgments.

It can impact your chances of staying alive both positively and negatively by sending signals about your next move.

If the task of staying alive overwhelms you, it is highly likely you would lose this game called surviving.

No matter what’s in your bag before you head into the wilderness, your brain is the tool that will get you through a survival situation.

It stores surviving knowledge, experience, muscle memory and training on various key aspects such as how to build a shelter or how to start a fire.

But you know what? These skills won’t be your sole life-savers.

So, what is going to get you out of a sticky situation? Your brain your faith in the Lord of course!

The brain is responsible for things like intuition and what we know as the ‘gut feeling’.

Why is mental strength important in survival, woman listening to herself

Is your gut feeling enough to keep you alive?

Not at all as you also need to be able to control your emotions and how you cope with stress.

For example, let’s say that you find yourself in a situation of extreme stress, such as trying to stay alive when you could face multiple challenges at a time.

In this scenario, you probably won’t find the balance between the conscious and unconscious impulses that your brain is sending.

The thing that can help you cope with such stress is a positive mental attitude.

If you can’t find a way to overcome stress, it will wear your brain down and hinder your physical response or reactions.

So let’s discuss why a positive attitude is probably the most important factor that can get you back home alive and well!

The Secret to Survival: Positive Mental Attitude

It’s no secret that a positive mental attitude and a strong will are the two factors that can help you make it through the worst situations.

But try not to roll your eyes at the very thought of this philosophy and let us first break down why survival experts recommend it!

First and foremost – you have to be determined you want to live.

When in a stressful situation, it’s extremely difficult to think clearly and make logical decisions.

PMA (positive mental attitude) can lower stress and restore awareness, which are integral parts of your survival.

Even survival handbooks speak about the importance of remaining optimistic in perilous situations.

Some of the tips they offer include:

    • Keep your mind occupied to prevent a panic attack
    • Repeat positive affirmations about surviving
    • Instead of blaming yourself,  try to encourage yourself

A powerful desire to live OR a refusal to give up is all it takes

Positive psychology is supposed to open up a new horizon for you and possibly help you come up with an idea that can keep you alive.

In fact, positive thoughts breed innovation and creativity, which can be the bridge to survival.

No kidding, your will to survive alone can increase your chances of getting out of a sticky situation without a scratch.

Your brain can help your body do extraordinary things as that’s how we were created.

Things you don’t even know you are capable of, as what triggers you mentally can trigger you physically as well.

So set your goal, sort out your thoughts and watch yourself conquer all of the obstacles along the way.

Why is mental strength important in survival, man in front of a river and a mountain

How Do You Prepare for an Adventure?

By focusing on your PMA (positive mental attitude), training and experience in tough situations, since these are crucial factors of preparing for any adventure.

Whatever your mental state is, going into the wilderness without adequate equipment can lead you into heaps of trouble.

You still need proper gear, apparel, plan and company as going in wild and remote areas alone is never a great idea.

However, never underestimate the importance of preparing mentally for going out to the wilderness by practicing positive affirmations before heading out to your next adventure.

Negative Emotions and Survival – The Connection Between the 2

Realizing you are lost or in great danger can make anyone become extremely upset or even cause a panic attack.

That’s why surviving in the wilderness requires mental preparation to resist panic and chase away any negative thoughts.

Stress and fear can even make you start hallucinating and seeing non-existent enemies, which can lead to self-destructive behavior.

In fact – if you are mentally strong, you can make stress work for you… albeit only for the short-term.

Stress triggers the release of cortisol and adrenaline – both of these hormones that can save your life in certain circumstances.

Here’s how:

  • Adrenaline increases heart rate and pumps more blood to your large muscles
  • Cortisol is in charge of improving your complex motor skills

When we combine the effects of these two powerful hormones, this means you would be able to lift weights several times heavier than what you would usually lift.

Or if needed, you will be able to run faster than you would under normal conditions.

Why is mental strength important in survival, man with drawn muscles

But this sort-of “Hulk” mode can only last for several minutes!

Then, all of a sudden, this state of peak performance can turn into a freeze-up if you allow yourself to start panicking.

And we would highly suggest that you always try to preserve your energy, instead of blindly wasting it.

Even better – take a few deep breaths and avoid getting into the beast mode at all!

Otherwise, you would end up mentally and physically exhausted.

Do your best to calm yourself down and prevent adrenaline and cortisol to take control.

This is yet another reason why mental strength is so important.

A mentally weak person would give in before the rush of hormones and slide down a slippery slope – possibly even leading to death!


We bet you have no plans to get lost on purpose or to somehow get in trouble.

But if you do, now you know what is vital for your survival thanks to this in-depth explanation regarding the question: why is mental strength important.

Or in short, being mentally strong and keeping a positive state of mind can be the difference between life and death!

Now let us know – have you ever been in a life-threatening situation?

And what were your primary emotions in this scenario?

Share your experiences and thoughts about it in the comments below!

Survival copywriter at Atlantic Survival Gear | Website | + posts

Evelyn is a young and adventurous spirit fueled by her unwavering passion for the outdoors and survival. From an early age, she was captivated by nature's beauty, and her thirst for exploration knows no bounds.

Evelyn's love for the wilderness extends beyond admiration. She has dedicated herself to mastering survival skills, from building shelters to foraging for food. Fearless and determined, she embarks on thrilling expeditions, conquering rugged terrains and embracing the challenges that come her way.

As an advocate for environmental stewardship, Evelyn strives to protect and preserve the landscapes she cherishes. Through her inspiring journeys and responsible outdoor practices, she encourages others to connect with nature and discover their own inner strength.

She stands as a beacon of inspiration for young women seeking adventure and a deeper connection with the natural world. Join her on an unforgettable journey of discovery, self-reliance, and the boundless beauty that awaits in the great outdoors.

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