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Quick Fixes to CALM DOWN

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Christy Frikken shares 7 fast ways to calm down in the plane


Image by Brian Buckland

Everybody experiences anxiety sometimes when skydiving. You might be working through your first 100 jumps, having a random bout of gear fear, returning from an injury, or dealing with competition anxiety.

No matter the cause, sitting on the long slow plane ride with heightened nerves can be stressful.

Sitting on the plane ride with heightened nerves can be stressful
Image by Dennis Sattler

Are you doing something stupid?

First, before we get to the calm part, check if you have a reason to be nervous.

  • Are you making a lousy weather decision?
  • Have reason to be suspicious of your gear?
  • Are you working too far above your comfort zone?

If you are, stop. That is a safety problem.

But sometimes, you feel nervous even though you can and want to jump safely. This is because our rational desires and instincts don’t always line up. That is ok! Read on for fast anxiety busters…

Being perfectly calm is the secret to great skydives – use the plane ride to put yourself in the right mindset if necessary
Image by Joss Martin

Seven Quick Fixes

1. Breath

Everyone’s favorite practical tip – breathe! Focus on breathing slowly and deeply in and out.

2. Name three things

Not enough? Try interrupting the nervous cycle by naming three things you can see, three things you can hear, and three body parts you can feel. Focusing on specific sensory inputs can bring the escalation back to reality.

3. Visualize perfection

Slowly and calmly work through the jump in your head. This mental rehearsal can give you something to focus on and improve your performance. Imagine yourself having an outstanding performance and responding perfectly to any issues.

4. Happy History

If your confidence is lacking, run through a list of your past accomplishments. Think of times you did well, compliments you received, and your strengths. If you don’t have a lot of skydiving experience, use other parts of your life’s success.

Run through your Happy History
Image by Dave Bryce

5. Support Network

If you are jumping with an instructor, express your emotions to them! Experienced teachers can help you calm down and focus on success. If you are with other jumpers, you can chat with them about it too. The act of talking about it can help alleviate the uneasy feeling.

6. Reframe it

Those butterflies are your body’s way of getting ready to perform physically. If you realize that nerves feel like excitement, it can change your perspective and help you have more fun. For example, being scared on a roller coaster can be fun if you view it right. So please don’t focus on how afraid you are; think about how much fun it is to have that super jolt of energy!

7. Meditate

Another oldie-but-goodie. If you haven’t tried meditating before, I’m not sure it will work as a quick fix. But if you have the skill, it can relax you and help you get ready to rock.

Summary

If you feel anxiety on the ride up, check to see if you are making good choices. If you know all choices are good – try breathing, naming three things, reframing your feelings, meditating, visualizing, or talking to others to ease the nervous feelings. Find the trick that works for you, and you’ll have a more joyous jump!

Find the trick that works for you and you’ll have a calm, joyous skydive
Image shows author Christy Frikken by Craig O’Brien

Want More Christy?

Christy coaching at Perris

For longer-term ideas to reduce nerves and perform better, check out How to Calm Down

Find more great articles from Christy Frikken on her website, Fury Coaching

Read ‘Creeping for people who hate creeping’ here

Find out about Easy Exits here

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Meet: Christy Frikken

Christy Frikken teaches and competes in 4-way skydiving almost every day. She has been on many teams, including but not limited to SDC Rhythm XP, Perris Fury, Perris Wicked, Perris Force, and Perris Moxie. When she is not going fast herself, she is coaching others to go faster in the tunnel and sky. Check out furycoaching.com for more helpful articles.

Christy is proudly sponsored by Sun Path, PD, Skydive Perris, Kiss, Vigil, Larsen & Brusgaard

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