For the most part, all human phobias spring from our shared fear of the unknown.
People dread having to face something they haven’t faced before, especially when they don’t know what feelings they’ll experience as a result. That explains why something as simple as riding a roller coaster or jumping from a high altitude can cause anxiety and trepidation in many people. Even with fully secure safety measures in place, the human mind will still cling to the possibility that something bad might happen. Luckily, the following tips can be used by anyone to mitigate and eventually overcome such fears, something that can definitely prove down the line:
1. Understand your fears
The first step towards eliminating fear lays in understanding it.
Some people have a fear of heights and get dizzy whenever they look down, but don’t actually have a problem with other aspects of a ride. Others might dislike the sensation of falling and the so-called stomach drop, but might otherwise have a strong passion for speed. Start by identifying what it is exactly that bothers you and try to see where it might’ve come from. Often people’s current actions are dictated by a bad experience in the past, when in fact such an experience is no longer relevant in any way shape or form. Acknowledging the irrationality of your fears is an essential part of the process of overcoming them.
2. Practice exposure therapy
Once you’ve identified your particular fears, spend some time exposing yourself to a ride you find scary.
Watch pictures and videos of it online, especially point-of-view videos where you can see exactly how the action unfolds from a rider’s perspective. Then take the next step and visit the location of the ride itself. Here you can witness it in action and see how people react in real time, in a good example of what’s known as exposure therapy. Chances are the vast majority of them are having the time of their lives, so consider the fact that you might also find it enjoyable.
3. Talk to other people about their experiences
Even after you’ve taken the time to familiarize yourself with the ride, there might still be plenty of nagging doubts about it in your head.
So go ahead and ask some people who have already undergone the experience to tell you about it. You’ll likely hear diverging stories, since people are always going to perceive things differently, but that’s fine. At this stage simply talking about how the ride feels like from the inside can be immensely therapeutic.
4. Start small
Conquering your fears is no easy feat, so make sure you give yourself every opportunity to succeed by starting out small whenever possible. If fear of heights is your culprit, don’t even think about bungee jumping right from the start. Instead, try experiencing a more manageable plunge where you have the option of jumping feet first. For instance, the Skyfall Jump at TreeTop Challenge lets you jump from an altitude of 12 metres while attached to a secure free fall device. What’s more, you can even try out different methods of attachment and see how comfortable you feel in them. At the end of the day, you’ll experience a boost in confidence that will prove invaluable when it comes to trying out other similar rides in the future.
5. Have your friends and family nearby
When you’re finally ready to take the plunge, make sure you’re surrounded by the people you care about and who believe in you the most.
On some rides they can actually join and sit by your side, but even on the solo ones their support can be a real difference-maker. Try to avoid bringing in people who make fun or belittle you in this regard, as their presence is likely to do more harm than good.
All in all, we hope the aforementioned tips will come in handy whether you’re getting ready to try out a new ride or pursuing your goal of overcoming a long-standing aversion to amusement parks in general. Defeating your fears can be an immensely beneficial activity from a mental standpoint , and there are few better ways to do so than by willfully engaging in activities that present no actual physical harm.
Do you have problems with carnival rides? Share with us below.
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