How to overcome your fear of swimming
The water is a calming environment for many people, but despite these calming effects, some do have a fear of open water. Overcoming a fear of open water can be difficult and it can hold many people back from learning to swim.
If you’re afraid of getting in to the open water, it is important to know that you are not alone and that there are millions of people in the same boat.
Fear of water can be conquered with practice and determination. Below are some tips for overcoming your fear of swimming:
REMEMBER THAT WE ALL FLOAT
The human body is designed to float. It’s because of the oxygen we have in our lungs. So, if you lie back in the water and breathe calmly, you’ll find that you can float around on your back quite peacefully with little effort. Try floating in shallow waters where you feel most comfortable before you venture out. And once you feel happy floating on your back, give it a whirl on your front, you’ll find it’s the same both ways!
DON'T DO IT ALONE!
Getting support on your journey of overcoming your fear could make the process a whole lot easier for you. That support could come in the form of a swimming instructor, a friend or a family member to join you. Whoever you choose should be comfortable and familiar with swimming and floating techniques and should be able to teach you in a way that you fully understand and can practice yourself.
Swimming in open water can be scary as it is hard to know what to expect. It could be tough to recognise which areas in the water are shallow and which areas are deep which is why it is important to go with someone who knows the surroundings to make sure you’re safe and comfortable.
START IN THE SHALLOW END
By starting in the shallow end of the pool you can become more familiar with the water without the worry of having deep water below you.
GO AT YOUR OWN PACE
Stay within your comfort zone and don’t push yourself too much, it’s important to go at your own pace. Begin by slowly familiarising yourself with the water, even if you just put your hand in.
PRACTICE IN A POOL
If you’re trying to learn to swim, it is important to begin in a controlled environment, such as in your local swimming pool, and not in an unbounded surrounding like the sea. Starting in the sea rather than a controlled environment can prove to be unsafe and may make it difficult for you to become comfortable around open water. You may experience adverse weather changes and strong currents. Out in the sea you would also be battling against the tide which may cause you to float into dangerous waters.