If there’s one thing you can say about skydiving, it’s that it’s not for the faint-hearted. Jumping out of a perfectly good aircraft to seek the thrill of flying like a bird means you need to have some guts about you in the first place. So whether it’s for your pleasure or a charity jump, you might be thinking: Is skydiving good for anxiety?
Skydiving is undoubtedly one of the most extreme and easily accessible things every day; ordinary people can go and do without any training. A tandem jump costs around $250-300, and availability is pretty good no matter where you are in the country. It’s often one of the ‘go to’ things to do when it comes to charity fundraising, as it’s something many people simply wouldn’t dream of doing.
But what if you suffer from anxiety? What if the mere thought of a plane flight terrifies you? Well, skydiving can actually be really good for your mental health.
How does skydiving affect your mental health?
While this could be seen as a pretty subjective topic, some actual research has gone into it. For example, a UK skydiving company surveyed 320 customers who took a tandem skydive over the last three years with them.
While they didn’t specifically ask ‘Is skydiving good for anxiety?’, the results are interesting and can infer how such a short experience can change your mindset.
86% of jumpers said they were more confident in everyday life after their skydive. In addition, 94% said the skydive had a positive impact on their mental health.
You get a real sense of achievement upon completing a tandem skydive, which is one of the reasons a jump is on many people’s bucket list. A lot of jumpers often say it’s one of the best things they’ve ever done.
One of the Go Skydive clients surveyed said their partner who suffered from depression had always wanted to tandem; after it, they literally felt on top of the world and had never experienced such happiness since making the jump.
What if you’re anxious to go skydiving?
While we’ve seen the positive impact a tandem jump can have on mental health alone, what about overcoming anxiety before you jump. At the end of the day, it’s a pretty big thing to do; jumping out of a plane and putting your faith in another person and all the kit that goes with it.
Learn about skydiving
Education is often the key to success no matter what you’re trying to achieve; when it comes to skydiving, learning as much as you can will help put any worries at rest. Researching to find out what happens on the day of a jump as well as the safety aspects can be a great way to allay any fears
Look into reserve chutes, AAD’s and the sort of training and number of jumps every instructor has to make.
Fight or flight
Fear is built into us; it’s what saved cavemen from beasts; it’s that split-second decision to stay or go that has run through our DNA for thousands of years. But fear isn’t our master, and it can be conquered.
So embrace those nerves, don’t overthink and bottle it way before jump day. If you really can’t go through with it, you’ve got until the moment you’re pushed out of the plane to say no. Your instructor will check that you’re ok the whole way through the jump.
Remember that fear is a self-made feeling; once you hit it and push past it, there’s often a euphoric feeling.
Don’t see a skydive as a single fear to get past. Instead, use it as an example to master your sense of fear.
Remember that you were scared and unsure, but that you went past that limiting anxiety and all was fine. If you can do that once by throwing yourself out of a plane, then you can do it over and over again but with life’s smaller challenges.
Is skydiving good for anxiety?
Skydiving can help improve your mental health no end, from making you feel alive to helping you realize that you can conquer any fear life may throw at you.
And if you’re anxious about a jump, do your research. Knowledge is power, and it will help you put any fears to bed.