When watching Olympic swimmer Adam Peaty in the pool, it is hard to imagine that he was afraid of water as a child. Peaty is one of the millions of people from across the globe who suffers from something known as aquaphobia.
Although the swimming star managed to overcome his fears, a fear of swimming and water, in general, continues to plague countless people.
In fact, up to two-thirds of people are afraid of large, open bodies of water, while more than 45% will not venture into the deep end of the pool. While fear of water can be taxing, there are, thankfully, a number of things you can do to conquer your fear, one step at a time.
Empower yourself with swimming lessons
Swimming lessons are a great way to help you deal with your fear of water. An experienced swimming instructor will help you overcome your fears by effectively boosting your confidence and providing you with the tools needed to achieve your goals. Swimming lessons can also be life-saving, as even rudimentary swimming skills can reduce the risk of unintentional drowning considerably. Even if you don’t have dreams of becoming a professional swimmer, knowing how to stay safe in the water may be the first step in overcoming your aquaphobia.
Practice deep breathing
There are a number of relaxation techniques that can make it easier for you to overcome your fears. As hyperventilation is one of the most prevalent fear reactions, practicing deep breathing can be instrumental in overcoming your fear of water. Deep breathing has been found to be very effective at easing your anxiety and stress, making your body and mind believe that it is more relaxed than it actually is. Once you feel more relaxed, your fears lose their grip on you and they become easier to overcome.
Celebrate your small victories
Facing your fear of water is a very big deal. As it can be somewhat of a long and emotional process, it is essential that you are patient with yourself.
Remember that Rome was not built in a day, and it may take a considerable amount of time and effort to fully conquer your fear. Celebrate every bit of progress you make towards overcoming your fear, as it brings you one step closer to a more fulfilling life.
Your fear of water does not define you as a person. By taking the necessary steps to overcome your fear, you may soon find yourself frolicking in the water as if you have been doing it your entire life.