People love peak experiences and actively search for them. The chances are that a hot air balloon flight over Bath, with its iconic sites and stunning scenery will stimulate one of your own.
The term was first defined by the American psychologist Abraham Maslow. He believed that the more emotionally healthy someone is, the better chance of having peak experiences.
Peak experiences are usually the result of intense events, but can arise spontaneously. They are often seen as mystical or out-or-body experiences, but you don’t necessarily have to be a spiritual person to have them.
Can you have a peak experience flying in a hot air balloon? Judging by the comments of people who have been on a balloon flight, the answer is certainly ‘yes’.
People use words and phrases like ‘awesome’, ‘out of this world’, ‘perfect’ and ‘amazing’ when remembering their flight. Their recollections are not proof of a peak experience but do indicate that the hot air balloon experience is at least near to being a peak experience.
What can get in the way of a peak experience are expectations. If you have a fixed idea that you want to see the sunrise from the balloon and it is cloudy, the flight may not live up to your expectations. Sometimes because of weather conditions, a flight can be delayed. For some people, minor issues like these can appear to be a major event that stops them from fully enjoying the experience.
The best way to approach your first hot air balloon ride is to have no requirements. If possible, go into the flight with no real expectations. See the ride as a mystery event where anything can happen. This open approach increases the chances of the flight being a peak experience.
If you do not have a peak experience when flying in a hot air balloon, that is fine. You can still have a wonderful experience.
After the balloon lands, it is traditional to have a champagne toast. This is not a peak experience in itself, but it can cause you to have a feelings of well-being.
Whether you have a peak experience or not, you will probably have positive memories of the flight. In your mind you will play back details of the flight, seeing the magnificent buildings of Bath from high up, experiencing the patchwork appearance of the fields surrounding Bath.
Studies have shown that positive memories trigger positive emotions. If you are having negative feelings, the remembrance of extremely positive memories – particularly peak experiences – can decrease negative emotions and make you feel happier.
Hot air ballooning is fun and exhilarating. You may or may not have peak experiences on your flight, but you will no doubt have fond memories about your experience, especially if you shared it with a partner or other loved ones. It’s an experience most people want to have again after their first time.