Aquaphobia, also known as “water fright” is a persistent fear of water. Many people that suffer from the phobia find it almost impossible to go swimming without fearing for their lives. They often feel very anxious and are scared of drowning. In some cases, the fear is so great they cannot even sit in a bathtub filled with water.
You may not know this, but aquaphobia is more common than you think. In today’s article, I will tell you more about the phobia and how to overcome the challenges it poses, especially if you can’t bare the thought of going on a summer beach holiday.
What causes aquaphobia?
The thing about aquaphobia is that it can be caused by many different things. For example, it could be a fear of what may be lurking beneath the surface, especially in deep water. Often, the cause can be attributed to a bad experience from one’s childhood.
In some cases, aquaphobia could simply be a fear communicated to someone from one or both of their parents who themselves have that phobia.
It’s normal to have some fear of water
Some people might tell you that “normal” folks don’t have any fears about water whatsoever! The thing is, it’s perfectly normal to be a little anxious about swimming or any other water-related activity.
It’s only when things get extreme, as is the case with aquaphobia, that life can be harder for you. The trick with this particular phobia is to work out why you’ve got it and determine how to overcome it. For example, if someone instilled the fear in you, find a way to prove to yourself those extreme fears were unfounded.
How to get over a fear of water
If aquaphobia has affected your life so much that the thought of a beach holiday frightens you, it’s possible to put things right. As mentioned a moment ago, the first step is to figure out why you are scared of water or drowning in it. People aren’t automatically fearful of water; usually, something happened to them in the past that instilled that fear.
Next, take some simple steps to spend time in the water. For a start, you could sit in your bathtub filled with water. You could then progress to a hot tub and even the shallow end of a swimming pool. One-on-one expert swimming tuition will also help you to build your confidence in the water.
Learning to float and balance
For many aquaphobia sufferers, they feel anxious about water because they “can’t” float or balance themselves. One way to tackle that problem is by performing some more simple exercises in shallow water.
For instance, balancing on an inflatable stand-up paddleboard in the shallow end of a swimming pool can be a good start. You don’t have to use them in the sea to learn how to balance or float in water! Take a look at Just Paddleboard's best iSUPs guide to find a suitable product.
Another thing to do in shallow water is to stand where the water is only waist deep. Be sure to wear some PFDs (personal floatation devices) so that you can get more confident with floating in the water.
Take your time
Last, but not least, there is no race for you to get over your fear of water in a short space of time.
Take as long as you need and build up your confidence at a steady pace. Remember: this is all about you, not other people.