When you hear or read the word phobia, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Spiders, darkness, crowded rooms, heights, a specific ex..? Your answer is probably shaped by things you fear yourself, or by things you have seen others fear. Here is how to overcome your fear of water as an adult.
Phobia maybe is a strong word, but in general we all fear something. Most of our fears are embedded within us from our childhood. Sometimes we grow out of them. As a rational adult we understand that being afraid of things that don’t exist is not ideal.
What if the thing we fear is something rational though? What if what we fear the most is something real, that can actually damage us. For example clowns, or something less evil like water…
One of the most common and fascinating fears of water is thalassophobia. It is a term that refers to the extreme fear that some people feel when thinking about the sea or ocean. The endlessness of it all, the unfathomable creatures that may lurk under it’s shining blue roof…
This is understandable. If you view all the literary horror creations, you can find patterns that clearly point out the fact that we as a species fear the unknown.
So fearing what lays below the sea, is as normal an instinct as it gets. But is it possible to overcome these hindrances? Yes. If there’s will, there’s always a way. What about an adult? How to overcome your fear of water as an adult? Not just thalassophobia, but general fear of water. Indeed, It is harder to get rid of something that has preexisted your whole life. However harder doesn’t mean impossible, so let’s jump into it.
General advice on how to overcome your fear of water as an adult
Identify the problem and understand that it is okay that you have it. Pretty much all phobias and fears can be eventually cured. The reason why the opening paragraph was that lengthy, is because I was trying to point out that it is normal to fear stuff.
Whatever that stuff that scares us may be. We just need to be sincere with ourselves and then work to solve the complex puzzles life throws at us. This sounds too much like a motivational rant, so before I start selling you a course on the law of attraction, let’s get into specifics.
Specific advice on how to overcome your fear of water as an adult
The psychological consensus on overcoming phobias and fears concludes that the best treatment is Exposure Therapy. This refers to exposing yourself to the thing you fear. What does this mean to us? If you want to overcome your fear of water as an adult, you have to start exposing yourself to water.
Go to the beach if you fear the sea, stand on shore and just let yourself see that there is nothing dangerous about the thing you fear. If you fear water and swimming in general, go to a swimming pool, slowly build the courage to enter the shallow pools. It is highly recommended that you bring someone you trust with you.
Start small. Get your feet wet, your hands, splash water on your body, stick a foot in the water, then the other, then go knees deep… And so on… Remember you don’t have to do everything in one day. If you don’t feel comfortable, you can always come back tomorrow.
You should push yourself, but you shouldn’t bite more than you can chew. Slow but continues progress is better than a sudden high uptick of progress followed by a flatline.
To overcome your fear of water as an adult, you need the ambition of a child and the patience of an adult. It will be challenging, but at the end, the rewards will far outweigh your hardship.