How to Endure Roller Coasters if You Hate Them

Roller coasters are not for everyone, but you may find yourself in a position when you feel obligated to ride even though you hate them. For example, you may want to accompany your child on a ride or your friends have convinced you to give a roller coaster a try. Even though you hate roller coasters you can successfully endure the ride. Make sure that you mentally gear up for the ride, choose a seat in the middle and check the restraints, and then hold on tight, take a deep breath, and enjoy the ride!


Preparing Yourself Mentally

  1. 1Look up the statistics on roller coaster accidents. Many people hate roller coasters because they are afraid. Before going on a roller coaster, you should understand that there is a 1 in 1.5 million chance of being fatally injured on a roller coaster. There is a much larger risk of dying while driving a car, flying in an airplane, or have a piece of airplane fall from the sky and land on you.
    • Understanding these statistics may help you endure a roller coaster even if you hate it.
  1. 2Start with smaller rides. You can gear up to ride a roller coaster by going on smaller rides first. This will help you get used to the experience of moving fast, spinning, or even dropping from extreme heights, depending on the type of ride you choose.[1]
  1. 3Distract yourself in line. Waiting in line can be a nerve racking experience for people who hate roller coasters. Some lines can be over an hour long and your mind may try to convince you not to go on the roller coaster. Instead, try distracting yourself by talking with friends or playing a game on your phone. Not only will this help the time pass but it will also allow you to relax before getting on the roller coaster.
  1. 4Avoid focusing on the ride while in line. While you are waiting in line to ride a roller coaster, avoid looking at the ride and try not to focus on the screams of other passengers. This may cause you to get more nervous and psych yourself out. The sheer size of the ride may cause your stomach to start doing flips. As a result, you should avoid looking at the ride.[2]
    • Similarly, don’t watch any videos of people on ride on YouTube prior to heading to an amusement park.
  1. 5Familiarize yourself with the ride layout. Although it is not a good idea to look closely at the ride because it may psych you out, you should familiarize yourself with the prominent features of the roller coaster. This way you will know what to expect before you get on. For example, you may want to know if the ride goes upside down or has major drips.
    • Similarly, you may want to know the style of roller coaster. For example, there are inverted, floor-less, stand-up, and even lie down roller coasters.”
  1. 6Think positive thoughts. Before riding a roller coaster, get yourself excited by thinking positive thoughts. For example, tell yourself, “This is going to be a fun experience.” That way you can trick your mind into getting excited for the ride.
    • If negative and fearful thoughts enter your head, replace them with fun and positive thoughts.

Part 2

Getting on a Roller Coaster

  1. 1Choose a seat in the middle of the roller coaster. When you are selecting your seat on a roller coaster it is best to avoid the front and back cars on the ride. These seats can provide more frightening views. Instead, try sitting in the middle of the roller coaster. This is often the least frightening spot.[3]
    • Similarly, you may want to select a seat in the middle of your row this way you will feel more comforted by the other passengers surrounding you.
  1. 2Sit next to a close friend or relative. You may feel more comfortable sitting next to someone you know and trust. This person can help to relax you before the ride. It is always more fun to ride a roller coaster with someone you know. Riding alone can be a scarier experience.
  1. 3Check your restraints carefully. Once you are seated make sure to check all of the restraints to ensure that you are properly secured in your seat. For example, you can tug on the straps to make sure they are latched or pull up on overhead security strap to make sure it has locked in place.[4]



Riding a Roller Coaster

  1. 1Hold on to the handles. In order to feel secure while riding, you can hold onto the bars or handles. You can also squeeze them and release some tension caused by your nerves.
  1. 2Take a deep breath as the ride starts. You can help calm your nerves through deep breathing. Focusing on your breathing can also help to distract you from the ride and may make the experience more enjoyable.[5]
  1. 3Try screaming to calm your nerves. Screaming may help to relieve tension while you are riding the roller coaster. This could help to make the experience more enjoyable as you let loose and scream throughout the ride.
  1. 4Close your eyes if you are afraid of heights. You may hate roller coasters because you have a fear of heights. If this is the case you may want to close your eyes while you are on the ride. For example, looking down at the ground while you are climbing the first steep hill may be fear-inducing. Instead, close your eyes throughout the ride. This could help take away some of your fears.[6]
  1. 5Keep your eyes open if you experience nausea. Some people will experience motion sickness while they are on a roller coaster. In order to combat this, you can keep your eyes open. This way you will be able to see what is coming and this will allow your body to predict the movements. This can help to reduce the symptoms associated with motion sickness.
  1. 6Don’t feel pressured to ride. If your friends or family are trying to pressure you into riding a roller coaster and you really hate them, just say no. You don’t have to go on a roller coaster to enjoy your experience at an amusement park. There are other rides available. You should never be coerced into riding.
    • Similarly, if someone you know is not ready to try a roller coaster, do not pressure them. Let them make the decision on their own.

Community Q&A

Question: What should you do if you are going on a school trip that has already been paid for and you are worried about suffering from a panic attack in front of your friends. You also don’t want to waste the money that has been paid for the trip.

Answer: You can still go to an amusement park and enjoy the day with your friends without riding roller coasters. There are likely other rides that you could go on. Be up front with your friends and explain to them that you suffer from panic attacks and that you can’t go on certain rides. You can still wait with them in line and then just meet them at the exit. They will likely understand and not pressure you.

Question: Should I start with small ones first?


Answer: You can either start with a really big one so the others don’t seem that bad, or start on a small one and go up gradually.

Question: What if am just scared of the butterflies in my stomach feeling?

Answer: That’s normal, especially for any beginner. You can conquer that nervousness by just riding the roller coasters that cause it. Once you do, it will be worth it.


Question: Is it sometimes normal for teens to be a little scared of roller coasters?

Answer: Yes, totally! The fear of rollercoasters is normal for teenagers and everyone else! It’s extremely common.

Question: How do I overcome the butterflies in my stomach fear when dropping?

Answer: You can try breathing from your nose and exhaling from your mouth. Reassure yourself that this will work and you won’t get hurt.

Question: I want to skydive, but I have anxiety that is triggered when I am in a fast-moving vehicle. I am terrified of basically anything outside my comfort zone. Any tips on how to overcome this?

Answer: If you want to go skydiving, make a list of the pros and cons. Make them opinions. For example: Pros: I really want to do this, and it seems fun. Cons: I’m scared to do it, and I really don’t want to. Also, I can reassure you, you won’t get hurt. If someone let you jump off a plane and hurt yourself, they would already be fired. Meaning you’re safe and don’t have to be anxious about it.