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Long Island Skydiving Center Posted by: Long Island Skydiving Center 2 months ago

Are you afraid of heights? Like, really afraid of heights? There are few fears as horrifying, hard to shake … or as common. Knowing how to get over fear of heights isn’t as easy as overcoming any old fear. Overcoming your fear of heights generally means getting over, in some small way, your fear of, well, dying. And let’s face it – that’s no easy task! And if you have a fear of heights, skydiving might seem like it’s off the table.

But the truth is, if you’re looking to learn how to overcome fear of heights, skydiving might just be the answer. There are two fears that science has proven we’re born with: fear of the dark, and fear of heights. Honestly, you’re probably here because your ancestors were afraid of the dark and of heights – it’s evolution. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find ways around your primal programming.

Read on to learn about how skydiving might just cure your fear of heights!

Tandem skydiving above the New York coastline.

The Spectrum of Fear

Of course, fear comes in several flavors. Some people’s fear is full-on acrophobia — making it almost physically impossible to drive across bridges, walk close to a floor-to-ceiling window in a tall building, or even climb a ladder. Since acrophobia is an actual condition, it has actual symptoms: 

  • Breathlessness
  • Dizziness
  • Light-headedness
  • Vertigo
  • Excessive sweating
  • Muscle tension
  • Tremors
  • Heart palpitations
  • Stomach cramps
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Panic
  • Acute anxiety


In acrophobic people, these symptoms can be triggered by the simple act of standing on a chair. They’re often prescribed medication to be able to lead normal lives.

But there’s a wide range of severity when it comes to being afraid of heights, and one’s ability to overcome that fear varies from person to person. There are things you can do to help minimize your fear of high up places, including flying as high up as possible and jumping out of the airplane!

Using Skydiving to Work Through a Fear of Heights

Skydiving above the New York clouds

Want to use skydiving as a “workshop” to help you get through your fear of heights? Plenty of people have done it! The sport’s extensive regulations and excellent safety record make it the perfect environment to step out of your comfort zone with confidence. 

If that’s your goal, here’s how to make your jump a personal victory:

1. Give Yourself Permission to Be Scared

Everybody’s scared when they skydive for the first time. We would actually be worried if you weren’t! You won’t be the first wide-eyed student your tandem instructor has seen this week — or even today. If you admit that you’re terrified, the people on the dropzone will rally around to support you.

2. Do Your Research

You can take steps toward overcoming your fear of heights before you even head to the dropzone. Understanding what to expect and what skydiving entails can get you in a good headspace to focus on the moment when it finally comes. Watching other tandem skydiving videos on YouTube and reading customer reviews can give you a great idea of how other people reacted to their own jumps. You can even seek out experiences of other jumpers who have a fear of heights!

3. Visualize Success

Close your eyes and imagine yourself nailing the exit, perfecting the arch position, and sticking the landing. Visualize the equipment supporting and surrounding you. Let these feelings of security sink deep into your subconscious, where they can help you when your heart starts pounding.

4. Breathe!

Anxiety-inducing situations (like jumping out of an airplane flying miles up in the sky) have the unnerving tendency to make people forget to breathe. And not breathing makes anxiety so much worse. Can you breathe while skydiving? Yes! Make sure you get plenty of oxygen by taking deep, regular belly breaths. Your brain will reward you for the gift of O2 with extra relaxation when you need it.

5. Use Your Resources

We are here for you from the moment you step foot on the dropzone. Your tandem instructor is highly experienced and extensively trained. They know everything there is to know about skydiving! Don’t be afraid to ask any questions you have, and let them know if you have some hesitations around heights. They can help you work through anything you need before getting into the airplane.

Skydiving may help you conquer your fear of heights, but you should know that acrophobia definitely won’t dissolve in a day. Allow yourself the time and space you need to work on your fear of heights without unnecessary pressure or self-judgment. Be gentle with yourself. You’re amazing!

And if you want to make more progress, maybe you just need to make another skydive!

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