How to Conquer Your Fears in Scuba Diving

First fears

When you first struggle into a wetsuit and strap on that heavy tank and those big weights, it’s quite disconcerting. You could be forgiven for thinking you might get into the water and sink out of sight forever!

Once you find out that doesn’t happen, you have to cope with the claustrophobic feeling wearing a mask gives you. But it’s even worse taking your mask off in the water. After a while, though, it becomes easy, as does taking your regulator out of your mouth and replacing it. You start to enjoy yourself, and diving becomes second nature. You can take the time to really explore the world underwater.

What should you be afraid of?

The most dangerous thing you meet when you go diving is the water around you. Claustrophobia can be a real problem for some divers, while others relish diving in places with poor visibility and restricted vision. There are plenty of places that can provide that environment, but if you don’t like it, don’t do it.

Once you get out into the ocean, you soon realise that it’s a very big place. Agoraphobia – the fear of wide, open spaces -may envelop you. But you can overcome this as you gain confidence. The preconceptions you developed on land, subject to the laws of gravity, can now be disregarded. The water is very deep, but that is of no consequence because you choose the depth you swim at. This means that you can swim alongside a steep underwater cliff without any danger of falling.

Another problem is over-confidence. You may have had a fantastic first dive and go back into the water full of euphoria. But if the euphoria makes you over-confident, things can go wrong. You could find yourself paying the price for not paying enough attention to what you’re doing. If things do go wrong, it is important not to panic as this can lead to mistakes. You should be in control – think, plan and act.

It is essential to develop a routine for assembling your gear and preparing for a dive. You can make the operation of your equipment second nature by practising with it in the safe conditions of sheltered water.

You will soon discover that the sea monsters portrayed by authors, filmmakers and sensation-seeking journalists are only fictional ideas that capitalise on ignorance. Scuba diving gives you the tools to visit a place that can otherwise only be imagined. You will discover the reality of a world where people can get close to the most feared predators in the world and probably the most misunderstood creatures on the planet – sharks!

Knowledge is a powerful weapon and diving can help you overcome preconceptions about the underwa’ter world. For example, you may think that swimming in a lake full of millions of jellyfish is incredibly dangerous. But in Palau, an island group in the Pacific, there are lakes that have jellyfish populations that don’t sting, and swimming among them is an unforgettable experience.

As President Roosevelt once said, ‘You have nothing to fear but fear itself.

Filed Under: Sports & Fitness


About the Author: Cody Riffel is a regular contributor to MegaHowTo. She likes to write on variety of topics, whatever interests her. She also likes to share what she learns over the Internet and her day-to-day life.

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