How to Get Rid Of Your Fear of Heights When Hiking
“Acrophobia” or “Fear of Heights” is a common phobia that occurs when you are elevated in high locations or altitudes. It is a totally normal phobia; falling from high altitudes is a genuine danger if not careful. But there are many fun activities and experiences you are missing out on if you don’t manage your acrophobia. We are an Alpine Hotel located in the Italian Alps, and we have many visitors and tourists that come and stay at our hotel in the aim of hiking in the breathtaking landscapes of the Alps - here, they will be able to see rare flora and fauna that won’t be found anywhere else in the world. Hiking is a truly fun sport that allows you to explore the gift of nature, and with acrophobia, it can definitely ruin the experience. So here are our top 4 tips on how to overcome your fear of heights.
“IT IS A MIND GAME”
The source of this fear and overreaction is all in your mind. Do you often find yourself panicking and constantly worrying that you are either going to fall or slip? The issue with overthinking is that it clouds your thought process, eliminating your rationality and can lead you to make a mistake. To tackle this, you should try to Meditate or practice Mountain Yoga - they are proven to quiet the mind and allow you to remain present in the moment. So, close your eyes, take a deep breath and be present. Examine all your five senses; feel, taste, smell and hear – pay attention to your environment and meditate. By doing this, you can ground yourself, and see for what the situation really is. So if you are standing on Alpine mountains, take a moment to stop and inhale the fresh air, ask yourself whether you are in real or perceived danger and identify your negative self-talk.
“EXPOSURE TO FEAR”
One of the best ways to get rid of your fear of heights is through purposely placing yourself in fear-inducing situations. We recommend you to do gradual exposure as some people can be susceptible to panic attacks or fainting. By ‘gradually’, this means you can start with indoor climbing, hike up a semi large hill or even take an elevator up on high buildings. If possible, you can invite a friend to support you in eliminating your fear; they will help encourage you and be proud of your accomplishment. Through exposing yourself to fear, you will, for sure, feel the anxiety at first but once completed, you will feel great and realise that it wasn’t so dangerous after all. Eventually, you can work your way up to hiking in higher altitudes with less fear than you started.
“TWO IS BETTER THAN ONE”
If you are going mountain hiking and you are scared of heights, then you should try and bring a companion to join you in hiking. Not only will they make a great social addition, but they can give you the appropriate encouragement and support to achieving your hiking goals. By having positive reinforcement from a friend, it can help tackle the negative self-talk that usually occurs in someone with acrophobia. It is also a plus if your friend is experienced in hiking, as it provides you with extra relief that you have someone who has sufficient hiking knowledge - and they can also share the load when it comes to carrying items and navigating through the mountains!
“HAVE CONFIDENCE IN YOURSELF AND YOUR EQUIPMENT”
Not having adequate equipment for your hiking trip can amplify your phobia. You are worrying that your equipment might break, or that your hiking shoes are not strong enough, etc. It is worth to ensure that you are investing in the stable Hiking Gear to give you that extra assurance that accidents are less likely to happen. Furthermore, make sure that you are fully and mentally prepared through properly Planning Your Hiking Trip, allowing you to acknowledge the weather conditions and the potential hazards that could occur.
Once you have unclouded your mind of worry, then, you will focus on the beauty of hiking within nature. Though heights can bring fear, it can also bring a feeling of awe. Just imagine yourself standing up high on the mountain as you overlook the lush, serene valleys – giving you a sense of tranquillity. From our experience, the most beautiful places to hike are the Alps, Albergo Miramonti is conveniently located beside majestic mountains and valleys that you could walk in. After a long, fulfilling hike, many of our guests relax in our Alpine Spa and our Cigar and Whiskey Lounge – come check it out!
For more articles about hiking in the Alps, read our blog: