Personalised Swim Caps

The Ocean Never Bothered Me Anyway: How to Cope with Swimming Anxiety

Health Fitness

Some people are afraid of deep, open bodies of water. This type of fear can have various causes. It can be related to the fear of drowning or can be caused by the fear of something that might be lurking below the water surface in deep, cloudy or muddy waters. 

Sometimes, a bad experience that occurred in childhood can also trigger the phobia. But regardless of those differences in roots of anxiety, there is no need to feel bad if you are subject to fear of water. 

This type of fear can hold people back from learning to swim or even stay up close to a poolside but, it doesn’t have to be that way. Everyone has a level of water confidence, which may change depending on individual circumstances. 

To get you inspired a little, have you ever heard about Rio 2016 Olympic Medalist Adam Peatey who used to have water anxiety as a child? As he tried to cope with his fear, who would have thought that he could be a world champion one day? 

Whilst there are plenty of reasons to start learning at an early age, it’s never too late to learn swimming. In fact, many pools are offering adult classes in a friendly and supportive environment where you can meet plenty of people going through the same experience as you. 

Address the fear now and learn to swim later. 

Very often, scared students are told that there is nothing to be afraid of. But they’re actually afraid. So, it already loses the instructor’s credibility by saying such a thing. The student’s concern should rather be taken seriously to make them feel safe. 

Whenever you’re ready, put those personalised swim caps on and take these beginner tips (with careful step by step procedures) to overcome your swimming anxiety.

✔Step 1. Get your feet wet. 

All activities should be done in shallow water to make you feel safe. There is no need to plunge into a water level that is higher than your chest. Start by dipping your feet in half. And then try to gradually dip fully whenever you’re ready. Once you’re in, stand upright and try to relax. Do not overthink.  

Step 2. Splash water onto your face. 

Step 2 is about giving your face a little splash. Do it as if you’re washing your face. While doing so, think of positive scenarios to calm yourself.  

Step 3. Submerge half of your face into the water. 

Try to hold your breath while submerging half of your face into the water and then breathe out. This way lets you blow out bubbles and learn the right breathing process. 

Step 4. Submerge your entire face into the water.

This time, take a deep breathe while swamping your entire head underwater. Release your breath after coming back up to the surface. Keep practising until you feel less afraid. 

Step 5. Repeat the previous step.

This time, try to blow out bubbles while performing Step 4. Then try sitting at the bottom part of the pool and start blowing out bubbles.  

Step 6. Practise kicking.

Hold the side of the pool while trying to kick with your body stretched out. Do not feel rushed to make progress. You’re doing fine. Just keep going. 

Additionally, a few reminders that you need to know while doing these practices are listed as:

  • Always wear swimming goggles to avoid getting the water into your eyes. Keeping the eyes open will help you relax. 
  • Have at least one supportive person by your side to cheer you on. This way helps you feel safe knowing that someone is there to keep an eye on you.  
  • Perform swimming lessons in a pool that is not too crowded so you won’t get distracted by other people splashing water around you. 

When fear is forgotten, we hope the wide ocean will never bother you again. Swim through the currents and check out How to Maintain Swim Fitness Amid Isolation Period!

Sarah Contreras

Sarah is a full-time writer whose main enthusiasm switches between food and underrated films. Aside from writing sonnets at 6 am, she also blogs general issues and smart financing tips. When she’s not writing, she spends her precious little time thinking of what to write next.