Overcoming a Fear of Heights
Do you have a fear of heights? You certainly wouldn’t be alone! For many of us, merely looking at an image shot from an aerial vantage point can make us feel a little uneasy.
Indoor rock climbing can be a great activity for people who have a fear of heights. While it may seem counterintuitive, climbing indoors can actually help to overcome a fear of heights by gradually exposing you to heights in a safe and controlled environment.
Indoor climbing walls are designed with safety as the top priority, with padded flooring, incredibly strong specifically designed ropes, and harnesses to protect climbers in case of a fall. This, along with the fact that you are being taught by experienced and knowledgeable climbing instructors, can help to ease any anxiety or fear that you may have about falling from a height.
Additionally, indoor climbing offers a range of difficulty levels, so you can start at a level that feels comfortable for you and gradually work your way up to more challenging climbs.
A great way to start is not to aim for the top, but to lower your expectations and set out to take just the first few steps up the wall. Reassess how you are feeling, take it all in and make the next sequence of moves if and when you are ready.
Making the decision to come down at any point before reaching the top is NOT a failure! Every attempt is an important part of the journey and sets a new height benchmark for you to try to reach on your next attempt.
Small steps are key and this allows you to build confidence and experience at your own pace, without feeling overwhelmed. It also helps to begin on a smaller wall and one that is not overhanging or too steep as this can make you feel even more exposed on the wall.
Overall, indoor rock climbing can be a great way to overcome a fear of heights while enjoying a fun and challenging physical activity. Just be sure to start at a level that feels comfortable for you and remember that climbing and working on overcoming a fear of heights is a personal experience and you don’t need to try to meet anyone's expectations but your own.
After a few sessions of making small gains, and building trust in the equipment and climbing system and your belayer, you will be enjoying the views in no time!