You know the feeling: thumping heart, sweaty palms, racing mind. These are the side effects of a fear of heights when zip lining. If your fear is deep-seated, we don’t suggest you to try any outdoor activity that could harm you further psychologically.
But if you are ready to tackle your fear once and for all, why not do it doing something truly memorable like zip lining?
If you’re up for the challenge, we encourage you to consider some of these ways to work through your anxiety related to being up high. You can try one at a time or a combination of methods that you think will work best.
1 | Do your due diligence.
Call ahead to talk to the zipline operator and walk through anything unknown that might increase your fear—safety procedures, equipment quality, guide experience levels, etc. With this information in hand, you can start to decide whether you are operating from a platform of generalized fear or true phobia—an “irrational” fear of experiences that most people would not find threatening.
2 | Simulate safely.
Before you make the jump to flying through the air on a zip line, consider another adventure that can simulate height in a more controlled and protective environment. Rock climbing indoors is one example. Another is an aerial obstacle course that will allow you to choose which course to take but still expose you a lofty activity.
3 | Start slower and lower.
Don’t take on the highest and fastest zip line in town first. Research different options that will help you dip your tow into a zipline adventure. You could try a beginner and kid-friendly zip line, designed closer to the ground, or one that’s made to go slower. Inquire about the shortest ride as well, so you can get it over faster but build your confidence quicker, too.
4 | Partner up.
Some zipline adventure companies offer tandem setups where you can strap in with a trusted guide who can get to know you (and your fears) personally, much like skydiving. There are also parallel or twin zip lines where you can fly next to a friend or loved one. If being with someone who is experienced in how to zip line (or is at least experiencing the same thing you are) will calm your fear, this might be a good option.
5 | Take it easy.
While it’s easy to say and harder to do, the best way to tamper any fear is to do things that reduce the physical expressions of anxiety. That means breathing deeply and slowly to reduce your heart rate and stay calm. The mind and body are known to play tricks on one another. So if you can relax and center your body, you could take your mind—and confidence level—to new heights.
Reminder: Consult your doctor before you taking on any outdoor activity that could compromise your health or well-being.