I recently came across an article that really caught my eye. The Article consisted of a study pertaining to the psychology of people who partake in extreme sports and what do they get out of it.
As mentioned in the study, the participants that partake in these risky sports have a different and negative images . They usually consist of daredevil like attitudes and they thrive off risk and fear. Although this may seem true, you really cannot judge a book by its cover because these participants are receiving positive effects from these extreme activities. The articles give more incite as to what and why these seek out scary and dangerous sports.
People who are involved in extreme sports see positive effects from the experience they get while doing such activities. Our brain and body are designed to get scared in these times. They are supposed to alert us about feelings of harm and or fear. Participants who go through these activities are responding to fear in a positive way and the brain rewards them for that. When someone pushes through fear, the brain releases a chemical call dopamine. The release of this chemical gives the participants of the study a feeling of happiness and confidence. This can cause long term personally effects for the body that include an appreciation of life and the possible outcomes situation can really have.
Where does the addiction part come in you may ask? Well The chemical dopamine can cause the feeling of addiction. When you are partaking in an extreme sport you fall in to a state of fear, once you overcome this fear your brain rewards you with dopamine. The dopamine is the part of the equation that makes you feel confident and happy. It gives a natural high that makes you feel overall good about yourself. When a participant is constantly putting themselves through extreme situations for pleasure, they are constantly feeling that sense of happiness. If you take that away the extreme aspects of the activity, you take away the happiness they receive. They keep pushing themselves through no matter what the risk in order to get that sense of confidence and happiness.