Overcoming Fear of Water

By | Last updated Dec 11, 2016

Swimming is a lovely exercise and a fun recreational activity. It is a great stress buster and also a fun way of losing weight, keeping fit and building muscle strength. The clear water of the blue pool excites one and all and it feels lovely to be able to glide in the cool waters especially in scorching heat. Initially one might feel scared to swim for the fear of drowning in deep waters but once one masters the technique of swimming, it becomes a pleasurable activity. If the fear of drowning sets in, then it is very difficult to ward it off and it might hinder you from ever being able to swim. A bad experience or a bad teacher could lead one to have a fear of swimming. Hence, it is very necessary for one to choose a good teacher for swimming.

Cause of Fear of Water

Once a person decides to learn swimming but has a deep fear of drowning he should carefully analyse his reasons of fear. If you put a small baby in the water with a tube float, he or she will always enjoy the feel of water because the fear of water is not inborn. It develops due to certain unfortunate incidents. Aqua phobia or the fear of drowning can be easily curbed with strong determination and good help. The first step is already taken i.e. when one decides to learn swimming. Fear of water could arise due to many reasons:

  1. A water accident or a prank played on the person.
  2. Seeing a friend or relative drowning.
  3. Watching a movie with someone drowning.
  4. Reading something horrible about drowning.
  5. Psychological fear of drowning.
  6. An incapable or bad teacher who has instilled this fear.

Techniques for Overcoming Fear of Water


  1. Always start with a clear swimming pool. With the clear vision of water, you can easily see what is down below and you will not have any fear of what is lurking beneath.
  2. Start with some basic exercises in a shallow pool. The water should be only till your stomach or at the most chest. You will feel much comfortable if you are able to stand and walk on the pool ground below.
  3. One must wear swimming goggles all the time for clear vision and you can avoid water getting into your eyes and hence keep you fear at bay.
  4. Always have a supportive person and an expert swimmer besides you for you to feel safe, comfortable and motivated.
  5. It’s ok if you get scared during the initial attempts, but you must try to enter the pool at least once or twice daily.
  6. Try to pick a time when the swimming pool is not crowded as this would help you keep crowd and stress away.
  7. Initially start with sitting at the shallow edge of the water with your feet submerged in the pool. Keep swinging your legs back and forth to enjoy the sensation of water in you feet.
  8. At the same time, wet your hands, face and torso by scooping some water with the palm of your hands. Your whole body should get used to the feel of water.
  9. Then next splash some water on your face suddenly to give you the feel of sudden splash on your face. You will find that you can easily breathe and even see clearly through your goggles.
  10. Slowly get into the water via the ladder and try walking in the shallow pool for some time. This will definitely be a major step in overcoming the fear of water.
  11. Next step is to try to submerge your head completely for a few seconds, hold your breath and then take it out. Repeat this till you can do it for a few minutes. This also makes you practice breathing orientation.
  12. Try to exhale water while your head is submerged in water by blowing bubbles inside. This will be fun and again will show you that by doing this water does not enter your eyes or nose.


If you follow these steps one by one, your fear of water will go away completely and slowly you will gain confidence in water. Later on, you can start with an inflated tube or float in deep waters to let you feel the deep waters when your feet can’t walk on the ground below. But yet, you would love being able to glide in the water without drowning.

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