How to overcome fear of rollercoasters: Expert's five easy tips to conquer theme park rides
- MailOnline spoke to a psychology consultant and life coach to get his top tips
- The first step is to understand the fear and where it comes from
When you think of a rollercoaster, a lot of people picture a fun day out a theme park, chasing after an adrenaline rush.
For others, it's a nightmare – the mere thought of getting on a rollercoaster makes some people feel queasy.
Being scared of rollercoasters is a very common fear and it often stems from other phobias such as heights or being sick.
MailOnline spoke to Bayu Prihandito, the Founder of Life Architekture, psychology consultant and life coach, who shared his top tips to getting over the phobia.
1. Understand the fear
He explains that the first step is to understand the fear:
‘Start by acknowledging your fear and determining its source – understanding the root cause can help you rationalize and better manage your reactions.'
A rollercoaster fear can be different for everyone – for some people it stems from a fear of heights.
For others, it can come from the fear of the mechanisms being unsafe.
For those with Emetophobia, the fear of sick, the feeling can come from being afraid of throwing up.
So, it's important to really think about where your fear comes from and what you are actually fearful of – you need to identify it to conquer it.
2. Gradual exposure
Once you have identified where the fear comes from, you can gradually expose yourself to theme parks and rollercoasters.
The expert suggests to ‘initially, opt for less intimidating rides and gradually progress to more thrilling ones.
‘This approach can help alleviate anxiety and gradually build self-confidence.'
So, don't throw yourself in at the deep end by choosing the biggest rollercoaster at the park – everyone has to start somewhere.
You can gradually build familiarity with one ride and know what to expect, before moving onto a bigger one.
Ready for the ride of your life? These are the UK's best theme parks
- Thorpe Park, Surrey
- Alton Towers, Staffordshire
- Drayton Manor, Staffordshire
- Legoland Windsor Resort, Berkshire
- Chessington World of Adventures, Surrey
- Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Lancashire
- Oakwood Theme Park, Pembrokeshire
- Gullivers World, Cheshire
3. Use relaxation techniques
Relaxation techniques will be your best friend in this situation.
Bayu suggests to ‘practice deep breathing exercises or mindful meditation, observing your thoughts without interfering or adding fuel to them, before going on a ride.
‘These techniques can help calm your nerves and reduce anxiety.'
Make sure to breathe deeply while you're on the ride too – holding your breath will increase anxiety and make things worse.
4. Positive affirmations
Positive affirmations are another way to hype yourself up to conquer the fear:
‘Positive self-talk and visualisations can help lessen your fear.
‘Try to picture yourself enjoying the ride and feeling joyful and exhilarated afterwards.'
You can also remind yourself of the facts – looking at your watch is a useful tip for this as a rollercoaster ride usually lasts less than a minute.
In most cases, you will be waiting in line for longer than you're actually on the ride, so just remind yourself it will be over quickly.
5. Company matters
Finally, the company you have with you matters.
The life coach suggests you should ‘enjoy rides with supportive and trusted friends or family who can provide reassurance and make the experience more fun.'
Some people enjoy riding with friends who love rollercoasters as it puts them at ease – however, don't go with people who will push you into things you don't want to do.
If you're not ready for the biggest rollercoaster yet, you shouldn't be surrounded by people who will pressure you.
Though, if you're with someone who's afraid like you are, this can also be positive as you can guide and support each other through it.