Aquaphobia, or the fear of water, is very common phobia. It is a psychological condition where an individual is afraid of contact with water, in particular large bodies of water and being submerged in it. In some cases even pictures of oceans or lakes can set off anxiety attacks. Fortunately, overcoming the fear of water can be done by attending proper swimming lessons for adults or kids swimming lesson.
Although the level of fear experienced by individuals vary, it can be more severe with some. Many imagine themselves suffocating and drowning when they think of large bodies of water. Others are paralyzed by the fear that dangerous creatures such as sharks, crocodiles or even predatory sea monsters could be lurking in the unseen depths.
How the Fear of Water Develops
The fear of water is often the result of traumatic experiences, especially during childhood. Human beings have an instinctive fear of drowning which is amplified by the close call experience with it. Getting pushed into water suddenly or involuntarily falling into large bodies of water such as the ocean could also have a lesser effect. Typically, individuals who are naturally anxious are at most risk of developing severe water phobia.
Aquaphobia could also be the result of incompetent swim instructors who employ inappropriate methods of instruction. This fear can also develop in childhood as parents or guardians become overprotective and constantly warn of the dangers of water, who are likely aquaphobic themselves.
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Safely Through Structured Swimming Lessons
Overcoming the fear of water can be as simple as coming into contact with it (also called exposure therapy) and sheer will of mind. However, no two phobia sufferers are the same – and some might need closer care and attention.
This is why it’s best to receive proper instruction. Competent swim instructors are able help phobia sufferers in overcoming their fear of water and build the phobia sufferer’s confidence through proper instruction and swimming stroke correction as they make progress. Even knowing how to tread water and stay afloat can give confidence. A qualified instructor has also attended lifesaving courses in case of emergencies. These lessons will continue until water seems natural to them.
Swimming lessons for adults in Singapore are conducted by qualified instructors, which is a benefit for those with aquaphobia as they can feel confident in their ability. In worst case scenarios doctors can prescribed medications such as SSRIs or selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors that can help prevent panic attacks.
Overcoming the fear of water should start young as it will improve an individual’s quality of life. For example, getting babies to attend baby swimming lessons helps develop their mental fortitude and will power that will help them face other challenges with confidence as they grow up.
Self-Help Tips for Overcoming the Fear of Water.
Whether at formal swimming lessons or alone, there are a few simple tips steps that can be taken to help alleviate the fear of water:
- Don’t dive right into the water. Cold water isn’t fun, especially for someone with aquaphobia. Instead, start by dipping your toes into the water and then gradually going in deeper. For those who are a little more anxious it’s a good idea to enter close to a pool ladder. Not knowing how to get out the pool and unsuccessfully trying to can be cause panic – remember that feeling in control is important for managing anxiety.
- Find a spot in the pool where you’re able to stand while fully submerged to somewhere around chest level. This gives you a subconscious sense of being in control. However, if you feel a panic attack coming – try filling your mind with happy thoughts to distract yourself. This works in the same way that holding your breath will make hiccups go away.
- Flotation devices aren’t only useful for learning how to swim – it helps give a sense of security.
- Learn how to hold your breath in the water properly. First, take a deep breath through the mouth. When you go under the water start blowing out bubbles through the nose for a few seconds before coming out. Again, breath in through the mouth and repeat the exercise until you feel comfortable doing it.
- Practice kicking and floating while holding onto the edge of pool with your body and legs fully stretched out. The flutter kick is easier than the scissor kick here.
- Don’t get discouraged if you don’t seem to be making much progress. Take some time to reflect on what you might be doing wrong. You can also use a smartphone to make a video recording of yourself so you can later watch and find out what you were doing wrong – or just to laugh.
- Get help from a friend or a psychologist. Sometimes all we need is a little motivation and morale support. You can also look for support groups or an online community where you can share your fears with and find like-minded people whom you can work towards your goal with!