How to Overcome a Fear of Scary Rides. Rides at amusement parks and carnivals are meant to thrill and excite their riders. Understandably, this thrill isn’t for everyone, at least at first. They can, though, be a tremendous amount of fun, and a great way to spend time with friends and family. By learning more about these rides, and what makes you afraid of going on them, you can get yourself in line for one, and survive the first trip to help you go again and again with others.
Consider what about the ride actually scares you, and makes you want to not go on. There can be many reasons why you don’t enjoy or want to go on scary rides. It could be the speed, the turns, or the feeling of falling you’ll get while on it, or even a traumatic experience you had on a ride before. By identifying what it is that makes you scared, you can take more concrete steps to overcome that specific fear.
Maybe you just want to say you did it, or are trying to impress someone. It doesn’t need to be an earth-shattering goal, but something manageable like going on the ride once. Having a goal or reason for getting on the ride can help motivate you to actually give it a shot, and smaller goal will make it easier to follow through and have success.
Talk to your friends about going on these rides. Make sure they know that you are scared, but that you want to overcome this fear. Good friends will understand, and try to help where they can.
Before jumping on line, spend some time exposing yourself to a scary ride. Look at pictures and video of it online so you can see it in action, and what you would do while on it. If you go to a theme park or carnival, walk by the ride and watch it in action. The more you see of it, the more comfortable you will be around it. This is exposure therapy, a common method for overcoming fears.
One way to help push yourself on to the ride is to put yourself in a position where you have to go on one. Maybe tell your friends you’ll definitely ride it, or buy an expensive ticket to the park. Make it very difficult for yourself to back out of going on the ride.
This is a common type of negative thinking, where you can only think of a worst-case scenario when you think about going on a scary ride. This could be something like worrying about falling out of a roller coaster each time it goes upside down.
Before you get on line, or get on the ride, use some mindfulness techniques to help relax yourself. These simple exercises are great for reducing your stress and tension, which will make you feel better as you approach the ride.
Some rides will have seats available for you to sit in before getting on the ride. These are mostly to make sure you will fit properly, but trying them out can be a good way to get more comfortable with what you are doing.
The best way to face your fear is to push past it and get on board. You’ve come this far. You’ve learned about the ride, relaxed yourself, stood in line, and now you are here. Get in the seat, let the attendant strap you in, and get ready to roll.
Most rides will have some type of “grab bar” or other restraint that’s meant to help hold you into the ride. It might make you feel more secure to grab hold of the restraint. It won’t actually make you any safer, but can be a pleasant reminder that something is there to hold you in.
When the ride takes off, you will be tempted to squeeze your eyes shut until it’s over. Don’t do that. Instead, let your eyes guide you along the track, watching what comes next. Being able to see what follows will help make you feel more in control of what’s coming.
Once you’ve gone on the ride, great. Now get back in line and go again. Going on rides more often helps habituate you to it, and will make you even more comfortable as you go along.
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