Whether it is the immediate shock, or the slow buildup of anxiety over several days, fear has the potential to turn any of us into cowards and fools. Survival stories are full of people being paralyzed with fear, and doing the wrong things while panicked. Usually these stories don’t have a happy ending.

Let’s face the facts. Having an emergency in the outdoors or a disaster in your hometown are real possibilities. And in order to manage these risks, you’ll have to figure out how to manage the fear that comes with them. Every day, we are at the mercy of the only constant in nature – change. If we end up in an emergency, we are in a situation that has changed for the worse. The weather can change, your health can change, the place where you’re sleeping can change – anything could happen. And that’s when the fear starts to creep in.

Here’s what can you do so that you are not paralyzed by fear, or worse, running around in panic like a chicken with its head cut off.
1. You plan for bad luck, and you expect bad luck. These two ways are the best way for you to prepare yourself for trouble and stave off fear. If you can avoid fear, you can avoid panic. Panic would lead you to do irrational and dangerous things to aggravate your emergency further.

2. You should have some plans for different contingencies – like getting lost, becoming immobilized, running out of food, etc. You should plan for many kinds of trouble, and think of that planning as an insurance policy, or better yet, a good luck charm.

3. You should also expect to have complications and fall victim to Murphy’s Law. This way, you will rarely be caught off guard, and fear will have less room to grow in you.

4. Finally, you can latch onto something bigger than yourself. This could be your faith, or your drive to see your family again, whatever works for you. Just grab onto something more important than your fear, and use that motivation to push through your scary situation.

Let us know your scariest moment in the comments below. Then consider yourself lucky to have survived it.