Adventure sports activities push your physical and mental limits; teach you to stay in control in the face of your worst fears and turn your perspective around, writes Niharika Nigam
Adventure sports are not everyone’s cup of tea, or so goes the popular belief. It takes a hero to perform heroic acts. Or is it that such heroic acts bring out the hero in you and throw light upon the immense power that always lay within?
For those who are yet to experience the glory of extreme adventure, it is important to know that these sports come with benefits that can completely turn your perspective around and enhance your mental health. Think of these as an HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) programme to reset and reprogramme your mind — that’s the potential these experiences have to impact your life for the better.
It is said that a mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions. Indulging in adventure sports releases hormones within your body, which directly contribute to good mental health. Adventure sports activities push your mental and physical limits. When you take up a challenge that takes so much out of you and you are able complete the same, it fills you with a great sense of accomplishment which makes you confident to take on more. The more you opt for such activities, the more you develop the ability to stay calm under pressure. Activities such as bungy jumping and sky diving continue to attract enthusiasts as they boost mental health making one stronger from within. The adrenaline that kicks in is biologically fun for everybody, regardless of whether you’re an adventure sports enthusiast or not. And taking up activities that bring joy and satisfaction, as an act of self love itself, boosts mental health.
“Face your fear”, we are often told. But seldom do we know how to do this. Adventure sports help you learn to stay in control in the face of your worst fears, by bringing you face to face with them, in a highly controlled environment. You are forced to calm you mind and learn to manage your panic and fear impulses. This is where you learn the art of transforming your fear from being an obstacle to an opportunity. Every first timer feels the fear. The trick is to allow yourself that feeling of fear and then go on to rise above it. It’s there in you, you just have to give it a shot.
Awakening of a sense of Passion
In a world of black and white, we are often made to live with the greys. To the point where we get used to a stable, but mundane life with pent up frustrations, and more often than not, no outlet for our real emotions. Participating in adventure sports helps in reducing that stress and anxiety thereby checking blood pressure. Experts say individuals who actively participate in adventure sports have lesser chances of getting a heart attack. But more importantly, going extreme feels like an act of rebellion. This is where one is forced to give all or be out. There is no halfway. The act of letting go evokes a long forgotten passion and zest for life.
Building partnerships and friendships
There is nothing more binding between people than shared memories. Sharing an adventure helps people to get out of their comfort zones, and bring together a mix of people with common interest. It opens up opportunities to build friendships with people from different walks of life. Getting past challenges and supporting each other, can truly form a lasting bond.
Expands your horizons
Adventure sports can really help you find your true potential. Visiting new places and indulging in new experiences with new people always helps in seeing different perspectives, outlooks and open up your mind. Sometimes, it takes some chaos to be able to deal with the calm better. There are very few experiences that make you face your ‘life’ and your ‘being alive’ as do extreme adventure sports. It forces you to stand on the edge and listen to life.
The question is: Do you choose to dwell on the fear or do you dare to fly?
The writer is Director, Business Development, Jumpin Heights