If you always find yourself standing on the edge of the pool, longing to dive in but paralyzed by the fear of swimming? You’re not alone, a lot of people are scared of swimming. They find swimming amazing but just can’t do it.
The fear of swimming is a common obstacle that many people face, some can swim but not in deep water while some can’t swim at all.
How to Overcome the Fear of Swimming
If you are in any of these categories, if you admire swimming but don’t know how to swim, this article will be helpful to you, we will walk you through some practical steps and tips (they have been applied severally and they worked) on how to overcome the fear of swimming.
Understanding the fear
Fear is natural, you need to understand that, it’s part of human nature, it’s our body’s way of protecting us from perceived threats. For some, the fear of swimming stems from a past negative experience, while for others, it’s a fear of the unknown.
No matter the reason behind your fear, you can overcome it and you can start by acknowledging its existence. Acknowledging your fear is the first step towards overcoming it.
Start with water comfort
If you want to over your fear of swimming, you need to start by getting comfortable in the water. Spend some time in the shallow end, allowing yourself to acclimate to the sensation of water around you.
Hold onto the poolside, practice floating, and gradually enter into slightly deeper waters as your confidence grows. Forming a strong familiarity with water is the foundation of overcoming your fear.
Take swimming lessons
Once you start getting comfortable with water, you can enroll in swimming lessons, make sure that you enroll under an understanding instructor. Getting professional guidance can make a significant difference.
A skilled instructor will introduce you to basic swimming techniques, helping you build confidence stroke by stroke. You can start from scratch and build your confidence.
Practice breathing exercises
Fear often causes irregular breathing patterns, making it difficult to stay calm in the water. Practice deep breathing exercises both in and out of the pool. Focus on your breath, and when you are in the water, practice exhaling gently while your face is submerged. Learning to control your breathing will increase your confidence and ease in the water.
Gradual exposure to deeper water
As your swimming skills improve, you can gradually start challenging yourself by going into deeper waters. Start with the mid-depth section of the pool, where you can touch the bottom if needed.
With time and practice, you can move to deeper areas but make sure you have a supportive friend or instructor nearby should anything happen. This gradual exposure helps in desensitizing your fear.
Practice positive visualization
This may seem little but positive visualization can help rewire your brain, replacing fearful thoughts with empowering ones. Additionally, repeat affirmations such as “I am a confident swimmer” daily. Affirmations will reinforce positive beliefs in you, boosting your self-assurance in the water.
Celebrate small victories
No matter how small your victory is, celebrate it, every small achievement matters. Celebrate your progress as you move from step A to step B, no matter how minor it seems.
Whether it’s floating independently or swimming a short distance, acknowledge your efforts. You can also reward yourself, and give yourself a good treat.
Rewarding yourself for your achievements reinforces positive behavior, making the process of overcoming your fear more enjoyable.
Once you start recording massive progress, do not stop, ensure you continue practicing daily if possible, the more you practice, the better you become at swimming. That’s the secret of overcoming the fear of swimming – Practice.
The only way to overcome the fear of swimming is by practicing swimming, you cannot overcome it if you don’t get into the water, you need to start small, it’s a gradual process, so take your time and start from the beginning.
You don’t have to do it alone, you can seek professional guidance, practice breathing exercises, expose yourself to water gradually, and with time, you will transform your fear into confidence.
Once you start getting better at swimming, you can increase your learning pace, and practice continuously till you become a pro.