Fear of water is just like about any other phobia, in that it is primarily characterized by feelings of terror. This is a crippling anxiety that could prevent you from fully enjoying your life.
Therefore, you may want to do something about this fear before it takes away years of living from you. Part of understanding how to treat this phobia is in the learning how it is caused, and then learning ways to overcome this problem.
The fear of water is otherwise known as aquaphobia, and it is usually caused by biological factors (i.e. genetics) and/or post-traumatic experiences. However, the fear of water could also be a result of dealing with certain geographical or cultural limitations.
For instance, perhaps a person lived in an area where water was sparse. This is often the case in hot climates or desert locations where people usually are more likely to be forced to ration water. Having an abundance of water could just simply be a shock to some people in some cultures.
As far as how to get rid of aquaphobia, you can follow these tips:
- Learn as many facts about water as you can. For instance, you might want to find out what the ideal water conditions are for avoiding drowning. The more you learn about the value and power of water the less afraid of it you will become, because it will lessen the “unknown” factor as fear of the unknown is very common.
- Relax in the water and see how well you float. While doing so you of course would want to start out in the shallow end. The fact that your body to some extent floats in the water should help you overcome your fears of drowning when in a pool or lake.
- Think happy thoughts and take one step at a time. If you think of your favorite color or your best childhood memories, for instance, it can help you advance into a swimming area more easily. At the same time, you do not want to push yourself too hard. Just work yourself into the water at your own pace.
- After you have slowly went into the water feet first, you may want to take the plunge. Whenever you are ready, try immersing your heat in the water. Maybe first your forehead, then while plugging your nose and/or holding your breath push more and more of your head underwater.
- Make overcoming your fear of water regular practice. In time, your phobia will disappear completely and you will once and for all be able to enjoy life. A little bit of courage goes a long way, and grows too.
- Plan fun activities such as water volleyball or windsurfing to help you get rid of your fear of water. You can also try renting a jet ski or participating in any one of a number of other sports, such as swim racing or water skiing.
You may want to talk to your doctor about medications for phobias. Even an anti-anxiety medication could help you take the edge off the extreme fear or terror that you feel.