Stay home & watch TV? No thanks!

Why do some people climb avalanche prone mountains or jump out of planes at thousands of feet to let gravity pull them at death-defying speeds touching 200 km an hour? Wouldn’t it be safer to stay home and watch television? 

The psychology of adventure may hold within it some secrets to understanding human need to experience more than the everyday routine.

Deep down, we all thrive on a sense of adventure, and experience it in one form another. Adventurers often follow steps such as initial failing or trauma, striving, an opportunity or problem, the role of a mentor and training, a climax in which a person is pitted against a significant challenge, and ultimately a triumph and transition.  

Adventure, in a psychological sense, is closely related to challenge, stress, coping, difficulty, fear, resilience, etc.

According to the psycho-evolution theory, until recently human beings lived predominantly outdoors and in close contact with nature. Thus, for a long time daily human life has involved adventurous exploits in the outdoors.  A need for adventure may be hard-wired into the human psyche and culture. According to psychologist Rajani Nandakumar, the prime reason people take to extreme sports is the adrenaline rush – hormones that get released when the body finds itself in danger. Yet, she would not call them risk-takers.

“I would categorise them as a breed of people who like to challenge themselves. They are not competing with anyone. They keep in good form, they use the best of equipment and they take all precautions. They are dependent only on themselves and they know they are capable,” she says.

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