Therapy takes many different forms. For some, it’s a quiet walk at dusk or rising early for a morning cup of coffee on the porch at dawn. Many times therapeutic activities are associated with calm, soft moments, but for many, that sort of “quiet” comes in the form of a rushing 120 mph freefall. It may not seem like the most peaceful of undertakings, but one of the benefits of skydiving is an unexpectedly therapeutic experience.
It Comes Down To Catharsis
Catharsis, first referenced nearly 2,351 years ago as a metaphor by Aristotle in his esteemed work the Poetics, refers to a strong emotional release or emotional purging as a form of purification. Psychologically, catharsis is understood to be the process of releasing pent-up emotions as a way to provide peace.
Catharsis can be found in a variety of iterations: belting your heart out to your go-to “angry” song, screaming in a pillow, or holotropic breathwork However, the most prevalent to this discussion is skydiving as catharsis. Skydiving therapy often works as a form of catharsis because it requires the participant to confront their feelings head-on. Instead of suppressing the emotions stirring within them, the participant experiences the wide range of feelings that accompany skydiving (apprehension, excitement, fear, joy) and comes out the other side calm and centered. The benefits of skydiving are manifold. Here are a variety of ways that the positive results of skydiving therapy manifest.
1. Improved Response to Stress
Stress is all around us. With work deadlines, finances, and family squabbles, it may seem there’s no way to escape, and you know what? There’s not. With the world today, there is no “escaping stress,” but there are plenty of ways to manage stress.
One of the benefits of skydiving is that it allows you to reframe how you think about stress. Stress isn’t necessarily something to avoid, it’s something you can grow from. Skydiving shows us that even in times of significant stress, it is possible to persevere through. Plus, unlike other forms of stress, skydiving is wicked fun! Few activities juxtapose the two, fun and stress, so closely!
2. Lasting Sense of Empowerment
You know the feeling you get when you succeed? The walking on sunshine sensation achieved when you snag that promotion or the dizzying delight when your rec team takes home the championship? Well, multiply that by a factor of 10, and you’ll barely scratch the surface of how you’ll feel after your skydive! Getting up the nerve to go skydiving can be tough, but after you land from that first foray out into the wild blue yonder, you’ll be infused with a sense of empowerment rarely achieved. If you can do this, you can do anything!
3.General Mood Boost
Similar to the endorphins released from a nice, sweaty workout, when you skydive, the brain releases a feel-good chemical cocktail that will lift your mood better than any pair of rose-colored glasses ever could. While the increased levels of dopamine produced from a skydive certainly help you achieve a more pleasant disposition, it’s the complete sense of acceptance derived from the skydiving community that will truly keep your spirits high. Once you make a skydive, you enter an exclusive fold: you’ve boldly gone where others feared to go.
The worth of this connection simply can’t be undersold. Those that skydive forge lifelong friendships that can traverse nearly all differences. But, to really see what we mean, you have to make a skydive first!
To experience the multiple mental benefits of skydiving, you’ve got to be willing to leap right out of your comfort zone. Trust us, what’s on the other side is totally worth it! Take flight today and experience skydiving therapy first hand!