How to overcome the fear of water?


The fear of water today is inconceivable for many people. The outcrop of sports venues in cities that include swimming facilities makes it extremely easy to keep in touch with her. Therefore, we must differentiate the fear of water as such from the fear of swimming in it. The first case is practically extinct, needing the help of a professional as they refuse to even maintain a basic personal hygiene.

Assuming that we are in the second case, being afraid of water would be born primarily of a survival instinct. Although at birth we have past vestiges of knowing how to swim in the water when we grow up, we lose these behaviors, needing to learn to keep ourselves in it so as not to drown. If we add the feeling of depth associated with the ignorance of what will be in the background (and remember that we tend to fear the unknown) we find that water phobia is not as strange as it might seem at first.

Understanding our behavior before water

The first thing we should think about the phobia is that it is very easy to avoid situations where we could feel real fear: we just have to dodge going to the pool or traveling to the beach on vacation. Being so simple we find one of the most difficult phobias to solve by practically not influencing anything in our lives if we want. With the current leisure offer it is easy to choose other destinations so that we do not have to face our fear.

This is where the trap of water phobia lies: by not exposing ourselves, we never magnify the consequences that we will suffer when it happens. We have hardly any real experience of seeing ourselves in front of a swimming pool, causing our fear to form more in our head than being a real sensation as a result of what we have experienced. This phobia of our own thinking makes us feel uncomfortable with ourselves since we will rationally come to the conclusion that it does not make any sense that such a common activity causes us panic.

This initial embarrassment will make the first real exposure much more dramatic than in other phobias. The fear that we thought will arise will be even worse, and that fear will feed itself growing without stopping making us even more afraid. We will deny ourselves outright, making us blush because of nervousness. All the physiological and subjective consequences will be given by making our first contact to assume the problem probably becomes the last.

Fighting against fear

Discarding that there are other disorders related to water phobia could be classified as a 'simple' phobia, concrete and simple to work with. The fundamental key to overcoming our fear is exposure to the source itself. We will never be able to face it if we do not accept the idea that at some point we will have to see ourselves in front of the water in person, with no possibility of escaping from the situation or prolonging it for another time.

To complement this exposure we can resort to various previous techniques. It is useful to clearly describe what it is that scares us about water. Many people avoid giving concrete details of their fear out of pure shame but if we delve into the problem we will discover that the fear of water is not as common in its characteristics as it seems. Maybe what scares us the most is the darkness in the background, to think that it will give us a cramp when we get into the water or that we are unable to develop proper swimming techniques. Each situation mentioned needs a specific approach, complementing it with the primordial idea of ​​exposing ourselves to the situation.

Learning different relaxation techniques will help us to become aware that we are going to overcome the problem. The water phobia shares with the rest of the known phobias the most common symptoms of panic, being able to overcome them in the same way. If we already have the capacity to reduce the emotional impact and to regulate the nervousness that we feel, we will be able to approach the dreaded source of the problem little by little, continuing with the treatment in a much more comfortable way.

Did you know...

Water phobia can arise from what close people tell us, even from what we see on television. It is enough with a single case where the person ensures the fear that happened so that we can acquire it without realizing it.
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