For some people, happiness can seem elusive. It can feel like you’re stuck in a rut, and you can’t seem to climb out. I know that when I feel that way, I discover that I haven’t been working on my personal growth. You can challenge yourself to study a new subject or read self-help books, and both of these will help you.
I, however, like to give my adrenaline a boost. I have discovered that a little bit of adrenaline can really perk you up and bring your right out of your ditch. For this reason, I recommend that you do something you’re afraid of as a quick way to boost your overall happiness.
With fear comes growth.
With fear comes growth, and you can feel free to quote me on that. While I’m unsure about whether there has been testing to prove my theory, I am certain of its truth. I can’t count the number of times that I gave a speech relatively unprepared or took a test without appropriately studying, only to discover that my adrenaline helped me dig deep into the recesses of my brain and produce facts that I don’t remember learning.
When my husband turned 30, I was not looking for a personal growth opportunity; but I got one.
I’m Afraid of Moderate Heights
I don’t have your usual fear of heights. I can fly in airplanes and look out the windows, but I can’t sit on my roof. Heck, I can’t even stand on the top riser of the bleachers without breaking out into a sweat, and I’m a total mess when I try to climb a ladder.
Upon consideration, I’ve decided that I have a fear of moderate heights. My zone of fear contains the distances that would leave me injured and not dead. The great heights, where I probably wouldn’t survive a fall, are a non-issue for me. But the idea of a bad break, paralysis, or a coma makes me sweat.
So, when my husband told me that he wanted to go skydiving for his 30th birthday and that he wanted me to come, I agreed. For almost the entire time leading up to the day of our jump, I didn’t think about my fear of moderate heights. I only thought about how I wasn’t afraid of planes or great heights.
Then, we got in the plane. As we started rising, I looked out the window. The relatively low height made me sweat and started messing with my breathing. It was panic.
I was in a plane with my husband, ascending for a jump, and I suddenly realized that I was horribly afraid of this height. We kept rising and moved out of the moderate height to a much higher that-would-kill-you height. Immediately, I felt better.
However, I knew that as I floated back down to the earth, I was going to have a relatively lengthy amount of time in the moderate height range. It was decision time; I could either chicken out or go ahead with the jump. Since I’m no chicken, I prepared myself mentally.
I was completely surprised to discover that once you jump out of an airplane, there is an odd peace that surrounds you. The rush of air in your ears makes a sound almost like white noise. Like a crying baby being swaddled, I immediately felt calm and relaxed.
Floating above the ground (or, I suppose more accurately, plummeting toward it), I felt a tranquility unparalleled by any other experience. This calmness and serenity created what I suppose must be a zen moment.
Do Something You’re Afraid Of
The next time you find yourself unhappy and feeling like you’re in a rut, consider doing something you’re afraid of. It could be speaking in public, learning something new, or even jumping out of a plane. What matters most is that you take the time to confront something that you fear and persevere.
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