08 Dec 3 Tips to Tame Your Fear of Hiking and Feel Safer
Hiking is both physically and mentally demanding. Many people have a fear of heights, but that hasn’t stopped them from hiking peaks and conquering their fear. If you always wanted to try hiking, but you were too afraid, then check out our tips that will show you how to tame your fear of hiking.
Use Good Equipment That Will Make You Feel Safer
It is recommended when you are hundreds of feet above the ground while walking on jagged or slippery slopes to have the best equipment to offer you proper support. While this will require you to spend more money, the sturdier it is, the safer you will feel. Even though it is mostly a placebo effect which gives you that confidence, in some situations, your gear can help save your life.
Having the right shoes that give you a good grip on all forms of terrain will make you not only advance easier, but it will prevent you from slipping and injuring yourself. You can also increase your balance by using sturdy, walking sticks, and a backpack that is convenient for your movement. Check first at which load you are comfortable moving around with your backpack to make sure you will not lose your balance.
Face Fear Gradually
One of the best ways that will help you to tame your fear of hiking is first to address your acrophobia (phobia of heights). While there are many psychological therapies which can help you overcome this fear, the most common ones to have great results are cognitive-behavioral therapies (CBT). These types of therapies involve gradually exposing yourself to the element that causes your fear.
You do not have to hurry to get rid of your fear, take your time, and make the first steps at your own pace and stay calm at each new step you take on.
It is important to take the time to pause and check your feelings. When you feel your control or calm are slipping away, try to get back to a quiet and safe space by focusing only on the positive feelings.
Breathe and Don’t Look Down
The fear of heights is usually fueled by anxiety and panic. To keep these feelings from overwhelming you, practice breathing techniques, as they are very effective in reducing stress and allowing you to get back your calm-place. Breathing exercises for meditation, sophrology, or even yoga can greatly reduce your stress levels every day and keep you from hyperventilating while you hike. If you are not into meditation, you can also just deeply and slowly inhale and exhale when anxiety creeps on you.
While you are focusing on your breathing technique, make sure that you never look down. Focus your eyes on a fixed point in the distance, but never down below you.
With these tips, you will surely be able to conquer and tame your fear of hiking, and then you will be able to experience the astonishing views of nature from a high altitude.