Do you panic at the thought of going into the community pool? Do you stubbornly stay on the boat whenever you have a family outing on the lake? Aquaphobia is more than just a quirk; it can can be genuinely debilitating, especially if it’s combined with anxiety or embarrassment issues.
The good news is that you don’t have to be afraid of the water forever. There are strategies that you can use to overcome your fear of swimming. If you’re ready to tackle your phobias, here are just a few tips for getting it done.
1. Start Small
You’ve probably heard stories about kids being thrown into the deep end to sink or swim. While it might be successful at times, it can also be highly traumatic and counterproductive. A better way to learn is to go slowly. Take your time. Get used to the water in increments, and allow yourself to relax and master one “stage” of swimming before you attempt the next.
2. Identify Your Specific Fears
Why are you afraid of swimming? If it’s an issue of drowning, you might be able to temper it with breathing exercises that allow you to hold your breath for longer and longer periods of time. If you panic at the thought of being stranded at sea, hooking yourself to a line or staying at the edge of the pool might help.
3. Learn Different Swimming Styles
There’s more than one way to swim. If you don’t like holding your breath, you can utilize a swimming technique where you keep your head above the water; if you don’t like the feeling of a butterfly kick, you can switch to a breaststroke kick. The most important thing is that you’re comfortable in the water, so don’t feel as though you have to swim a certain way to do it “right.”
These are just a few tips for getting over aquaphobia. If you’re ready to fling away the floaties and swim under your own power, use these suggestions to build both your skills and your confidence in the water.
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