Tuesday, November 12, 2019

The best advice EVER for managing fear, panic, and anxiety

I'm working on the conclusion to Fear and Fight: Understanding Our Natural and Learned Responses to a Threat. Our principal natural response to a threat is fear. Fear and anxiety are similar but different emotions, as I explain in my book. Panic is an extreme version of both fear and anxiety.

While researching a way of concluding the abovementioned book, I came across Schwartz and Vecchio's 'The basics of survival' in Schwartz, McManus, and Swenton's Tactical Emergency Medicine.

They explain that the first and most important element of survival is getting control of your thought processes. When perceived threats escalate,

How does one control these feelings of fear and panic? The British SAS recommends sitting down and making a cup of tea. This is a great response. Sitting down will stop one's haste ... Making tea forces one to break the chain of thought, which will continue to escalate toward panic. Once this chain of thought is broken and one's mind can be redirected, the person can later return to the original situation with a controlled and rational thought process.

Simple, effective. No jargon. No new world metaphysical concepts. Thousands of dollars in psychotherapy boiled down to a cup of tea by the British SAS. It is simply brilliant.

Friday, November 1, 2019

Holistic Martial Arts

I'm working on a chapter on stress training which is being increasingly used by the military and law enforcement to better prepare their personnel for operational deployment.

The first phase of stress exposure training and stress inoculation training is information provision which includes indoctrination where the usefulness of stress training is demonstrated to the trainee.

This can be achieved by explaining the relationship between stress training and learning to fight.

McCaughey explains that learning to fight involves the coordination of thinking, feeling, and acting. She also explain how most self-defence empahsise the physical but not the emotional and thinking. Various papers on stress training for the military say the same thing of traditional military training.

Stress training distinguishes between training and stress training. The way I explain the difference is that training is learning to fire a gun at a target whereas stress training is learning to fire a gun at a target that is firing at you.

Training = physical. Stress training = mental + emotional. Training + stress training = physical + mental + emotional.

This is an attempt at adopting a holistic approach to preparing a person to engage in a violent encounter.

The fighting trilogy also explains our natural response to a threat. The objective of our natural response to a threat is survival. The objective of 'Fight Activities' is to fight. To fight for a variety of reasons, including survival, but to fight nonetheless. They have to develop ways and means to counter our natural response to a threat. The target there is primarily the mental and emotional elements in the fight trilogy.

LeDoux refers to that as the conflict between evolutionary and cultural agendas. The evolutionary agenda is survival. The cultural agenda of Fight Activities is fight. They develop ways and means to resolve this conflict in agendas in their favour.

All Fight Activities training, including martial arts training, is at its heart a fight between our natural and learned responses to a threat.