Diving is generally fun and exciting but for some beginners, it’s natural to feel some hesitation and uneasiness. Getting all worked up by something you have not yet experienced before may happen to the best of us but the more important thing is knowing how to handle it when you dive. What’s the best way to beat the fear of scuba diving so you can finally jump in the water?
1. Begin with slow and regular breathing
Many of us take breathing for granted because it’s second nature but everything changes once we go underwater. When you submerge, you become more attuned to every breath as you hear yourself inhaling and exhaling using your scuba regulator. It may seem strange at first but when you focus on breathing in and out slowly at a calm pace, the sooner you’ll be able to maintain a steady pace. Breathing underwater will also come naturally to you.
2. Build up your skills in calm waters
A good way to face your fear of diving for the first time is by practicing in confined and calm waters. The swimming pool is a safe and more comfortable starting point where you can practice and get used to your equipment without feeling pressured about the unfamiliar terrain, water conditions, and marine life. If you’re diving in the sea, it might be better if you make your way in the water from the shore instead of jumping in the water from the boat. This way you can gradually get accustomed to your surroundings and not feel overwhelmed by the sudden change.
3. Pair up with the ideal buddy
Dive centers require both beginners and experienced divers to buddy up before diving. Although professional divers may dive alone depending on the circumstance, it is still highly recommended to dive in pairs for safety purposes. A buddy can guide you underwater, assist you, and even save your life and vice versa. Pairing up with a more experienced diver can alleviate your fear and make you feel more confident as you explore the deep blue sea.
4. Learn the proper hand signals
Underwater communication is done through hand signals that’s why it’s a vital part of learning how to dive. It is recommended that you go through the basic and frequently used hand signals with your buddy before the dive, especially when you are newly paired. This way, you can ensure smooth underwater communication. In case you encounter any differences, it is best to decide which one to use to avoid any issues during your dive.
5. Practice the buddy check: BWRAF
Safety should always be the number one concern of any dive school, that’s why reputable dive centers teach their students the PADI’s BWRAF during the Open Water Diving course. Listen carefully and learn it by heart because the essential steps of checking your buddy’s: (1) Buoyancy, (2) Weights, (3) Releases, (4) Air and (5) Final check of gear and devices can help prevent the most common dive problems from happening. If you feel overwhelmed by all these steps, don’t worry because PADI came up with the mnemonic BWRAF, Begin With Review And Friend to make it easy for all divers, especially beginners to remember it. Knowing that you’re taking this kind of proactive safety approach can help lessen or even remove your underwater fears.
6. Find the right instructor
Once you decide that you are ready to invest your time and money in a dive course, finding the “right” one matters a lot. The “right” instructor may mean finding someone who is not only knowledgeable and highly experienced but also easy to approach and shows empathy for his students. After all, it’s good to have an instructor with whom you feel comfortable opening your doubts and fears so that he can help you address them in the best possible way.
7. Visualize a successful dive
Did you know that many professional athletes use visualization to overcome their apprehensions? In scuba diving, when you visualize each step repeatedly in a calm and relaxed manner, you build inner confidence which can help you on the day of the actual dive.
8. Acknowledge every achievement
Make it a point to reward yourself whenever you take a step forward in conquering your fear. The prize can be as simple as treating yourself to your favorite restaurant, watching a movie you like, and doing other things that you enjoy. It’s also a good idea to share your achievement with people close to you because every word of encouragement can go a long way.
When learning scuba diving Dubai, we recommend that you sign up with Nemo Diving Center. We have dedicated instructors who are committed to teaching students the joys of scuba diving beginning with essential concepts. They also go the extra mile to help students overcome their underwater fears by building their confidence through confined and open water dives and encouraging them every step of the way. If you want to learn more, you can get in touch with our dive shop Dubai and we’ll be happy to answer your queries about our courses and dive trips.