There are few things more daunting to someone with a fear of heights than climbing the sky in a small aircraft before jumping out to fall thousands of feet to the ground below. But hope is not lost for height-fearing thrill seekers who, with the right help, may find that skydiving is not as terrifying as they thought it once was.
To overcome the fear and enjoy the thrill, here’s what you need to know:
First Thing’s First
Knowledge is power, and it might help you to know that a fear of heights, or acrophobia, is not actually the same thing as a fear of flying. The kinds of heights that those suffering with acrophobia fear tend to be those found at the top of a ladder, or on a rollercoaster-essentially they are the heights from which you can still see the ground and where you would fall. This is something that you don’t see when you are 3000 feet up in the air.
Jumping out of a plane is not the same as jumping out of a tall building. When you’re that high up, the world gets smaller, and you won’t really be able to perceive the altitude. Your fear may lessen when you can’t accurately visualize where you would land.
Fortunately, there are things that you can do to mentally prepare for a skydive. Before getting on the plane, consider visiting a therapist or counsellor who specializes in treating a fear of heights. They may be able to help you develop grounding mechanisms and strategies to manage your fear. It’s important to focus on the present moment when skydiving: take deep breaths and concentrate on the excitement of challenging yourself, rather than your fears.
Visualizing a successful jump can also be helpful. Picture yourself enjoying being that high up and the freedom of the fall. This can reduce anxiety and help you build confidence.
Lean On Your Instructor
Talk to your instructor and let them know about your fear of heights. You can ask them for extra support and guidance throughout the experience. Skydiving instructors are trained to handle the nerves of their clients once they reach altitude and have reported that very few clients refuse to jump after receiving some comfort.
Asking your instructor to explain the equipment, jump process and safety measures to you can help quell some of your nerves. Remember that you will be flying tandem-all the work will be on the side of the instructor, while you fall bird-like.
Just like when you start wagering and you place smaller bets at horse race betting sites, you can ease into skydiving slowly by starting with lower altitudes. The minimum height reaches 7500 to 8000 feet for tandem skydivers. When jumping from these heights, there is not as much freefall time, and so they are a good way of getting into skydiving.
Sit Back And Enjoy The Dive
A fear of heights can be healthy by stopping you from taking careless risks. Skydiving is not one of these risks. The equipment is designed to keep you safe, and fatalities are an incredibly rare occurrence.
Let your fear of heights fall out of the plane with you.