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Jump Jitters: Overcoming the Fear of Skydiving

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Curtis Posted by: Curtis White 2 months ago

Having a fear of skydiving is extremely common, and knowing how to overcome the fear of skydiving is a code many adrenaline junkies have tried to crack. 

But being scared of skydiving doesn’t mean you have to forgo experiencing human flight. Even if you have a fear of heights, skydiving isn’t necessarily out of reach.

Read on to find out how to overcome being scared to skydive so you, too, can take the leap!

Fear is Normal

Is it normal to be scared to skydive? Yes – and it’s not just normal, it’s healthy! If you weren’t at least a little bit afraid of jumping out of an airplane, THAT’S when you’d need to worry!

Jumping out of an airplane mid-flight is not natural. Regardless of how much we prepare, our primal brains still rally against the idea of freefall. It’s a basic survival instinct, and overriding that fundamental programming is impossible for good reason. It’s how we’ve stayed alive all this time!

So, just know that there’s nothing wrong with feeling afraid, and embracing that valuable fight or flight response can help you manage your feelings in the moment.

interesting facts about skydiving

Understanding How Skydiving Works

One of the best ways to combat the fear of jumping out of an airplane is to understand the process behind the skydive. The (perhaps surprising) fact of the matter is, that skydiving culture is centered on safety. There are strict rules and regulations imposed by the United States Parachute Association (USPA) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that all dropzones must follow to help mitigate risk. Additionally, dropzones, gear manufacturers, and individual skydivers have been participating in research and development for decades to make the sport as safe as possible. 

Going skydiving if you’re afraid of heights is also different than you might expect. The extreme altitude is more than your brain can fathom, so you don’t get the sense of height that typically triggers that fear. And skydiving doesn’t feel like falling! The phenomenon of terminal velocity feels more like floating, so you don’t have to worry about that roller coaster jolt in your belly. 

Spend some time on the internet before your jump reading up on safety culture, watching tandem experience videos, and learning about just how qualified tandem instructors are. You might find you’re a little less nervous once skydiving isn’t just the great unknown. 

Managing Anxiety & Fear

Many people wonder, “What is the scariest part of skydiving?” That really depends on the person, but, generally speaking, the moment you first lean out the airplane door tends to be the most stressful. This is when things get really real and anticipation is at a peak. 

Being in touch with your needs throughout the buildup will help you get through that moment. You know your emotions better than anyone else, so do what works for you. Maybe you need to visualize the skydive going well before getting on the plane. Maybe going for a run before you leave for the dropzone helps regulate your emotions. 

If you’re extra nervous, you can always talk to your instructor! Don’t be afraid to ask questions or talk through your most stressful topics while you’re getting ready for the jump. 

Are you asking, “How do I stop skydiving anxiety?” or “Can people with anxiety do skydiving??” Skydiving is a fantastic way to learn how to overcome anxiety in stressful situations. Learning how to manage your feelings in a guided environment helps build useful tools for the rest of your life. Let’s look at some techniques to help you tame the jitters.

skydiving freefall

Prepare Your Body & Mind

We often overlook the connection between our body and our mind. But when it comes to getting ready to jump out of an airplane, making sure our bodies are ready is just as important as prepping our minds. 

Skydiving is a physically demanding sport, and you will be an active participant in your tandem skydive. Here are some things to put on your to-do list before you head to the dropzone:

  • Eat a well-balanced meal
    Your body (and brain) functions better when it has the nutrients it needs. You can even bring snacks to the dropzone with you to graze on throughout the day. And don’t forget to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated!
  • Get sleep
    The night before your skydive might make you feel like a kid on Christmas Eve – sleep doesn’t come easy when you’re nervous or excited. But skydiving groggy is no fun, and you certainly don’t want to be too sleepy to enjoy your once-in-a-lifetime experience.
  • No alcohol
    This one is more than a suggestion: it’s a rule. You won’t be allowed to skydive if you’re under the influence of any drugs or alcohol, so save the partying for after you’ve successfully landed.
  • Stretch
    You’re going to find yourself in a variety of body positions that you probably don’t experience daily. Limber up and get your body moving right from the get-go so that you have no pain or stiffness during your jump. 

Bring Moral Support

Sometimes it’s easier to overcome your fears with someone you trust by your side. Bringing a friend or family member to help support you through the experience is not only a fantastic way to manage your fear, but it’s also a great bonding experience! Having important people take part in this incredible experience will make the whole thing easier to deal with and even more special. 

And they can even jump with you! You can share the responsibility of supporting each other and share the sky. And you’ll forever have the connection of overcoming your fears together and the memories of experiencing the magic of human flight together. 
Are you ready to face your fears? Come jump with us today! Blue skies.



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