The majority of us live, for the most part, within our comfort zone. We’re well aware when we step outside of it, with symptoms including an increased heart rate, sweaty palms, that ‘butterfly’ feeling in the pit of your belly, shallow breathing, feeling nauseous and even vomiting, in some cases.
All of this is caused by what’s known as the ‘fight or flight’ syndrome. It harks back to a time when we needed to trust our wits to stay alive – and we’re not as far removed from our Neanderthal ancestors as we might think. The changes we feel are fuelled by the increase in a hormone secreted by our adrenal glands – adrenaline.
Fleeing or fighting for your life aside (thankfully that’s not a normal element of life for most of us) putting yourself in a situation where you experience an adrenaline rush has some surprising benefits. One of these is to help you face things that you might have a slightly irrational fear of.
We’re not talking true danger. What we’re alluding to is regular life situations that might fill you with fear, but don’t actually present a risk. Things such as:
- Job interviews
- Speaking in public
- Asking someone on a date
- The first day at uni or a new job
- Jacking in your job to go travelling for a year
You get the picture.
The thing is, the fear we feel can prevent us from doing such things or, if we do manage to, not letting us shine at our best. And that’s a real shame because it means we’re not living life to our true potential.
So, guess what the answer is? You’ve got it… Doing something that scares you – and quite significantly – but in a controlled environment. Of course, you’ve probably guessed what we’re about to suggest. Yep, we’re suggesting that you throw yourself out of a perfectly secure aircraft to float down to Earth courtesy of a sheet of canvas strapped to your back.
(OK, that last sentence is exaggerated for effect).
But in all seriousness, the jolt of adrenaline that you’ll experience when skydiving is second to none. Not only is it awesome fun, but it fills you with a joy and confidence that’s unrivalled by anything else we’ve tried.
But don’t just take our word for it. You only need check out some Trip Advisor reviews to see what jumpers say. The words ‘amazing’, ‘incredible’, ‘exhilarating’ and ‘bucket list’ are frequently used.
Therapists around the world say that pushing yourself to do something outside of your comfort zone also has multiple mental health benefits, including:
- Lowering the risk of depression: It helps improve your ability to cope with the stress caused by other challenges in your life. In turn, this reduces levels of anxiety and depression.
- Helps with creativity: Moving away from your comfort zone forces you to think spontaneously – and it’s at these times that the human brain is at its most creative.
- Supports personal growth: Doing something new helps you grow as a person.
- Helps prevent boredom: There’s nothing better than changing up your usual routine for helping you gain more satisfaction from life.
- Improves performance: Triggering a level of anxiety is known to provide motivation associated with maximum performance.
If you’ve never tried a skydive before, make this year the time you make it happen. It might not change your life, but we’re pretty sure it’ll help you discover an extra dimension to yourself. So what are you waiting for?
Author bio – Amy Stutt
Amy Stutt is co-owner and sales manager of award-winning adventure tourism company, Skydive Geronimo WA.
She has a wealth of experience in the travel and tourism industry as well as several academic and professional qualifications, including an MBA from Murdoch University. Amy is a respected board member of Destination Perth and chair of its Governance, Risk and Audit Committee. She is also an active member of Women in Tourism and Hospitality (WITH) and the Rottnest Chamber of Commerce.
Since jointly establishing Skydive Geronimo WA in 2010, Amy and her husband Glenn have grown the business into an award-winning operation with a reputation for professionalism, integrity and innovation. As a result of her outstanding stewardship, Skydive Geronimo has become widely acknowledged as the premier tandem skydiving experience in Australia and has been a significant contributor to Rottnest Island’s global status as a ‘must visit’ destination.