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From Fear to Freedom: Overcoming Anxiety When Skydiving

Friday, April 28, 2023

Is skydiving scary? Heck yes, it is! And that’s a wonderful thing. Bear with us … we’ll explain.

Skydiving can be an absolutely life-changing positive experience, and that is not in spite of but because of its inherent scariness. It’s pretty much universal to feel nervous or scared before a jump – especially if you’re a first-time skydiver. Overcoming skydiving anxiety can be challenging, but with the right mindset, preparation, and support, you can conquer your fears and enjoy the thrill of the experience.

Why am I so scared to skydive?

Skydiving anxiety is a very real thing, and it can be caused by a variety of factors. For some people, it’s the fear of heights or the fear of falling. Others may be afraid of the unknown or the lack of control. One common fear factor is that skydiving is inherently dangerous, but the truth is that it’s a highly regulated industry with myriad safety protocols and a whole lot of sophisticated tech. Simply said, jumping with a reputable skydiving company should soothe your nerves.

anxious skydivers in plane

How do I overcome skydiving anxiety?

The first step in overcoming skydiving anxiety is to acknowledge and accept your fear. Even experienced skydivers get nervous! Meet the moment as your friend. It’s perfectly natural to feel scared — or nervous, or jittery — about jumping out of a perfectly good plane. 

Once you’ve accepted your fear, try these four tips to help you calm down before skydiving:

1. Visualize Success

In our experience, visualizing a perfect skydive helps new skydivers immensely. Close your eyes and visualize yourself smiling and laughing in the plane, then free-falling through the sky, feeling the wind rush past you as the Pacific Northwest immerses you in beautiful views. And then, finally, coming in for a perfect landing in the gorgeous grass of our landing area. Picture perfection over and over, until it feels like the natural order of things. This can help you feel more confident, comfortable, and empowered about the jump.

2. Focus On Your Breathing

Deep breathing can help calm your nerves and regulate your heart rate. Take slow, deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Focus on the sensation of the air entering and leaving your lungs. You can also try the meditation technique of progressive muscle relaxation, which involves tensing and releasing different muscle groups in your body.

3. Find A Distraction

Distract yourself from your anxiety by chatting with your tandem instructor, watching other skydivers land, or listening to music before it’s time to board the plane. This can help take your mind off your fear and help you relax.

4. Bring A Friend – or 5!

We’ve observed over the years that bringing a friend along for your skydiving day can provide hefty emotional support, as well as make the experience more fun, social, and affordable. At Skydive Snohomish, groups of 4-6 enjoy $10 off per person; groups of 7-9 get a $15 discount per person; and groups of 10 or more get $25 off each! 

What’s more, the SkySno facilities make for a great day out. We have plenty of lawn games (cornhole, anyone?) to keep you and your crew entertained, and the ​​menu at the on-campus Buzz Inn Steakhouse is top-notch. The memories you’ll make together will be nothing short of epic.

Young women wearing Red and Blue skydiving gear is excited to be in free fall with tandem instructor

How do I emotionally prepare for skydiving?

We’ll say it again: skydiving scared is totally normal. Here are some tips for emotionally preparing yourself for your first jump:

1. Know What To Expect

One of the most effective ways to overcome skydiving anxiety is to educate yourself about the experience. Learn about the safety measures in place and the skydiving equipment you’ll be using during the jump. Talk to other, more experienced skydivers. Knowing what to expect can help ease your anxiety and make you feel more prepared for the experience. Plus, you’ll get full training before a tandem skydive.

2. Stay Positive

Focus on the positive aspects of the experience, like the rush of adrenaline, the feeling of freedom, and the sense of accomplishment. Try to push negative thoughts aside and focus on the excitement of the jump.

3. Trust Your Instructor

Your tandem skydiving instructor is there to guide you through the entire process and ensure your safety. Trust in their experience and expertise — we only hire the best at SkySno! — and don’t be afraid to ask questions if you’re unsure about anything. We’re here for you, through and through.

TL:DR: Face that fear and reap the immense benefits!

Skydiving is a life-changing adventure that provides different, amazing benefits for different people. A sense of release, a feeling of reclamation, incredible joy! However, if you’re feeling anxious or scared about the idea of jumping out of a plane, it’s vital to acknowledge and accept your fear. Otherwise, you’ll spend your whole jump fretting instead of feeling the freedom of flight! Don’t miss your best day ever

With these pro tips in your pocket, you’re sure to overcome that sticky skydiving anxiety, experience the thrill of a lifetime, and come back for another jump! Blue skies!

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