If I tell you that there are health benefits to voluntarily jump out of a fully functional plane, your first thought will probably be that I’m talking about the physical exertion?
I’m sure it will surprise you that I mean the mental health benefits.
There are different types of skydives that range from static-line (your parachute is fixed to the plane via a cord and as you jump out the chute is pulled from the pack and opens) to tandem (you are fixed to a professional tandem jumper who is in charge of getting you to the ground safely) and solo skydiving where you have a parachute on your back and you are in charge of pulling the cord to open the parachute and to fly the opened parachute to get safely to mother earth.
Most people think this all sounds like a state of mental instability but allow me to explain.
Once you decide to do a skydive (any of the above variations) you’ll go to a registered skydive club where you’ll go through a briefing or course, depending on the option you choose.
You’ll then get scheduled to join a group on a plane and this is where the excitement/fear/nerves really starts to build up.
When it’s your turn, you’ll get kitted up, checked and herded to the waiting plane. Now your heart is pumping at a frantic pace and everything is noisy, windy and chaotic.
Depending on the size of the club, you’ll now be on a aircraft of varying degrees of space and comfort.
The plane will taxi out and you’ll notice everything from raw fear to absolute excitement on the faces around you. The pilot will talk calmly but inaudibly into the headset and without warning the engine will roar to full revs and the plane will hurl down the runway.
Everything is getting very real now and your first thoughts of newspaper headlines, announcing the tragedy, will start crossing your mind. All of a sudden the shuddering and chaos calms down a few degrees as the aircraft lifts off the ground.
If you’re seated near a window or door, you’ll now be wowed by the amazing view of the world falling away from you. This will last for a few minutes after which your brain forces you to start thinking of what’s coming.
This is the point where the health benefits start. You’ll begin visualizing yourself going out the door and leaving the relative comfort and safety of the aircraft. Inevitably you’ll reach a scenario where you have to face the very real possibility of hitting to the ground at terminal velocity and exchanging this life for the hereafter. This will then trigger questions like “Are all my financial affairs in order?”, “Are all my personal affairs in order?”, “Do I prefer to be buried or cremated?”, “Who should inherit my bike, drone, music and whisky collections?”
Now let’s be honest, are these questions that you normally want to think about? No, in most cases these are the exact questions we avoid/ignore. The problem is that your subconscious is always aware of these unresolved issues. This in turn is taxing on your mental health and sense of peace.
So there you have it in a nutshell. Skydiving (voluntarily jumping out of a fully functional aircraft) is very good for your mental health as it forces you to face issues you normally avoid, and by doing so it frees up mental capacity you could use for something else, like whether you should watch sports or game shows on TV!
Please feel free to leave a comment below if you agree or even if you strongly disagree!