Acrophobia, or the fear of heights, is a fear that affects about five percent of the population. Human nature makes most people have some level of anxiety when they think about falling off of something high. For others, the mere thought of being in a high up place can be paralyzing. However, acrophobia is a fear that can be conquered. We’ve compiled some helpful information for ways you can overcome a fear of heights. If you’d like to test this out in a safe environment, come into Rebounderz here in Lansdale. Our JumpXTREME Towers are an incredibly safe way to overcome your fear of heights in a super fun atmosphere.
When dealing with a fear of heights, your first step should be identifying what triggers the fear. Is it the sight of being high up, or just the thought? Is there a level that you are comfortable with and a level that you aren’t? Once you get an idea of your limits, you’ll have a better shot at overcoming them.
It’s also important to understand how you react to these situations; some people break out in a sweat, begin to shake uncontrollably, while others freeze in place. For some people, their fear is so extreme they have turned down job offers, simply because their office would be on a high level that they weren’t comfortable with.
It’s recommended you sit down and write a list of any time you can remember that your fear stopped you from doing something you wanted to do. List how you reacted, how long it took you to calm down, and what made your fear come out. This will give you a good idea how your life has been affected by your fear.
A phobia is defined as an ‘irrational’ fear of something most people don’t find threatening. If your fear of heights is relatively minor, you can probably assuage those worries with a look at the hard facts. Most of the things that cause acrophobia to trigger — tall buildings, airplanes, and roller coasters — are actually incredibly safe. They have been engineered to be as safe, sturdy, and secure as possible. The odds of being in a fatal plane crash are about one in 20 million. Compare that to the odds of getting struck by lightning (which is a cliche about how rare something can happen), which are estimated to be around one in one million. For some people, having these real numbers to look toward is enough to pacify their fears.
The last thing anyone wants to hear when they are having a fear-based anxiety attack is to relax. That’s because relaxation can’t be an order; it has to come from within. Practicing deep breathing exercises and meditation while thinking about your fears can help you view them in a more practical and calm way. This is a practice that you can then carry with you when a fear does end up triggering. Just a reminder to yourself to do your breathing exercises will help center you and manage your response. Keeping a cool head when you’re scared is tough to do, but it is achievable with practice.
Caffeine is a notorious proponent of anxious feelings. It can make you feel jittery and cause your heart to race, which is definitely not what you want when you’re trying to remain calm. Cutting down on your caffeine intake will help your body be more prepared to handle those fearful moments. It takes less effort to calm down when your heart rate isn’t already running a mile a minute. That means it will be easier for you to confront your fear.
When you try to overcome your fear, don’t immediately go to the furthest extreme possible. Instead of going right to the Skydeck at Willis Tower or skydiving out of a plane, start smaller and work your way up to larger challenges. Try looking over a second-floor balcony at first. Once you’re comfortable with that, go for a hike up a large hill and look back on the distance you’ve traveled. By accomplishing smaller goals along the way, your eventual goal of beating your phobia will feel far more achievable. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
If you need some extra motivation, try creating situations that will give you a push to confront your fear. You’re more likely to complete a task if you have made a commitment to do it. For example, if you’re at an amusement park and your friend wants you to go on a ride that you’re scared of, commit to it by saying you’ll do it to them. You won’t want to let your friend down, so you’re more likely to go through with it at that point. Of course, you should only do this if you are comfortable with taking that step. Don’t forget you can always use your relaxation techniques if the situation gets to be too much.
Having a fear of heights is understandable, but it’s also something you can overcome. Practicing relaxation techniques, identifying what makes you scared, and working your way up to larger challenges are all ways you can get past acrophobia and enjoy new experiences in your life. At Rebounderz in Lansdale, you can start off small jumping in our trampoline park and work your way up to the JumpXTREME Tower to conquer your fear in a safe and fun environment. We hope to see you jumping around soon!