The fear of water is one of the hardest phobias to overcome. This is because the fear of water is driven by instinct or past experiences. Just like the fear of heights, the fear of water is deeply rooted in our mind. It is caused by the fear imbibed by either our parents, past experiences or stories that we heard. The fear of water is also known as aquaphobia. It is one of the most popular phobias.
It doesn’t matter whether you are a professional or newbie, we all experience some form of anxiety when we are inside water. Some people have been able to overcome their fears. Though the majority of people still struggle with this.
Basic Symptoms of Aquaphobia
One of the easiest ways to know if you are aquaphobic is when you get agitated or have some form of anxiety whenever you come in contact with any form of water. It could be a pool, pond, lakes, river, ocean etc. It is more obvious in some people than others. While most people might not find a bathtub full of water scary. There are people who can not stand the sight of water in a bathtub. Another way is when you start avoiding activities that involved water.
According to statistics, over 46 per cent of American adults suffer from the fear of water. The numbers are higher in places like Nigeria, where a majority of the population avoid water by all means.
Causes Of Fear of water
There are different causes for Aquaphobia, it includes:
- Fear Instilled by parents or guardians.
- Bad experience during childhood
- Near drowning experience
- The fear of water may also develop as a result of incidents we heard.
Tips for Overcoming Your Fears for Water
We all have fear for some, it could be the fear of cats, dogs, fire, heights etc. Over the years, I have helped several people overcome their fear of water. I made some of them do things they never thought they could have done. Some of the activities include kayaking on the Lagos lagoon, going on a two-hour boat cruise.
Overcoming the fear of water can be tough. This is true for most people depending on the type of water body they are in. However, with proper guidance, you can overcome your fear of water. These are some few tips to consider.
- Change your mindset about water / Be Positive: It starts from the inside. Firstly, you need to change your mindset about water. Be positive and tell yourself that you can do it. You need to mentally prepare for the challenge.
- Engage in activities that involve water: Another way to overcome water fears to engage in activities that involve water. Start one step at a time. You may attend a watersport competition, visit a pool, beach etc.
- Get a trusted friend: We all have friends the one that got our back in every situation. One way of overcoming your fear of water is to go with a trusted friend. This is because there is a level of comfort that comes when you have a trusted friend around. It also gives you the confidence that no matter what, they will always have you back.
- Start by getting your feet wet: Do not rush the process. You can start by visiting the body of water and view from afar. Once you get familiar with this process, you may make a bolder step by putting your legs in the water. Then another time you can immerse your arms. You may also decide to stay at the shallow end while you immerse your body gradually. At any point when you start panicking, you can maintain the spot you feel comfortable with. Repeat this process till you are bold enough to immerse your full body.
- Attend swimming classes: Another way to overcome your fear of water is to learn how to swim. Learning how to swim will help boost your confidence. Learning to Swim also reduces the fear of drowning since you know you are capable of floating in the water.
- Use floaters or life jackets: Whenever you are close to water, make use of a floater, lifejackets or devices that could keep you afloat. This will make you comfortable while you are on the water.
- Face your fears: Lastly, another way to beat your fear of water is to face your fears. Engage in activities that involve water. The more you participate in such activities, the better you become.
Overcoming the fear of water is the starting point. You will still have to master the art of swimming and safety precautions when you are on the water.