The last thing that your body wants to do when it’s in emergency mode is conserve energy, but it’s crucial that you do so. Knowing how to conserve energy when facing a crisis may be the very skill that saves your life and the lives of those you care about.
Your body naturally responds to a threat with increased heart rate and respiration and your fight-or-flight response has adrenaline pumping through your veins at a rate that has enabled mothers to lift entire cars. However, that response uses a tremendous amount of energy that you’re going to need later. But how do you stop a natural response? It’s tough but you can.
Recognize What’s Happening
The first way to stop panicking is to realize that you’re panicking. That may sound odd but it’s true. You’re going to have a fear response; it’s natural. But you need to recognize it and control it. Don’t run before you evaluate the situation. Don’t hyperventilate, ever. Get. A. Grip. That’s what is going to save you.
The best defense against panic is to practice. Know what you’re going to do by running through drills and imagining scenarios when you have some mental downtime. Try to do the actual drills in stressful situations, such as when it’s raining or when you’re tired. The stress is good to help ingrain the skill. Go over things in your head and then practice them. You’ll develop muscle memory and it will work for you if you let it.
Be Conscious of Your Breathing
Your breathing is the spearhead of your fear response. By gaining control of your breathing, you’ll also slow your heart rate and decrease the level of endorphins that your body is pumping out. In other words, you’ll calm yourself.
When you notice that you’re freaking out, concentrate on slowing down your breathing. Take big, deep breaths and breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.
Now that you’ve got your panic under control, you need to think ahead. Institute your plan if you have one that meets the current situation. Or evaluate the situation and develop a plan in your mind if you don’t. Be quick about it though; now is no time for indecision.
If you’re in a situation that limits your food and water supply, you need to take further steps to conserve your energy so that you can get through this crisis.