Professor Jim McLennan, a psychologist at LaTrobe University in Melbourne, has studied the theory of "deep survival" or why some people can remain calm in traumatic events. It turns out a great deal of how well you fare when suffering from extreme physical stress or pain has a lot to do with your state of mind.
Simply put, if you give up or panic, you are more likely to die.
You can hear more about his theories in this interview on RadioLive.
When the host asked him what advice he would give to someone in a difficult situation, McLennan made the comments below.
"Try and manage your fear, try and keep your head. Try to be alert to what is actually going on, what is it that is threatening you most, and what you can see and what you can become aware of (that) you could make use of to save your life in the given situation. Don't give up."
Bonus material: Great survival story blog courtesy of National Geographic. That is what you get when you Google "Deep Survival."