How Can I Stop Being Scared of Snorkeling?

a couple snorkeling together in the ocean

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If you’re going snorkeling soon for the first time, or even if you’ve tried it before but had a bad experience, it’s natural to feel a little scared.

Snorkeling can be daunting because you’re venturing into the unknown underwater world. What will the water be like, and what will you see? In this article, we’ll discuss the common reasons behind being scared of snorkeling and offer helpful solutions. So, if you’ve been searching online for “How can I stop being scared of snorkeling?” you’ve come to the right place.

5 Reasons Why You Might Be Scared of Snorkeling

A woman wondering how can i stop being scared of snorkeling

There are several reasons why people feel anxious about snorkeling. Take a look at some of the most common ones below:

1. You Don’t Know What to Expect

The ocean is an expansive and mysterious place. Even if you’ve been to the beach many times, you might not have had a chance to explore the sea life beneath the surface.

These thoughts can be nerve-wracking because you don’t know what to expect. What kind of creatures will you see? Will the water be too cold? Such thoughts have the potential to turn into fear.

2. You’re Not a Strong Swimmer

You might be scared of snorkeling because you’re not a confident swimmer. Not feeling experienced enough is a valid concern because you will be in the water for an extended period.

However, you needn’t be the strongest swimmer ever to enjoy snorkeling. As long as you’re comfortable in the water and can paddle around, you’ll be fine. You can even wear a life jacket, life vest, or inflatable snorkel vest for extra protection and assurance.

3. You’re Claustrophobic

Another reason you might be scared of snorkeling is that you’re claustrophobic. While the waters are expansive, the condition can be an issue because you’ll wear a snorkel mask covering your nose and mouth. That type of mask might trigger your claustrophobia and cause you to panic.

4. You Have a Fear of Drowning

One of the most common fears regarding snorkeling is drowning. 

After all, you’ll be in deep water with your head submerged. If you’ve asked yourself specifically, “why do I panic when snorkeling?” this might be the answer.

However, it’s important to remember that snorkeling is a very safe activity. If you take the proper precautions, follow the safety rules, and avoid snorkeling in big, rough waves, you’re not going to drown.

Generally speaking, you should only snorkel where you feel comfortable. 

5. You’re Afraid of Being Eaten by a Shark

There have been reports of shark attacks while people are snorkeling and diving. Nevertheless, these incidents are rare and unlikely, especially if you stay calm and keep your distance or avoid snorkeling where sharks congregate altogether.

9 Snorkel Tips for Overcoming Your Fear

A young couple holding hands while snorkeling

Now that you know some of the reasons why you might be scared of snorkeling, let’s discuss the core of why you’re likely reading this article: “how can I stop being scared of snorkeling?” Follow these steps to ease your fears and have a great time in the water.

1. Do Your Research

Part of what makes snorkeling scary is not understanding the ins and outs of the activity. 

If you’re unsure about what to expect while snorkeling, make sure you do your research beforehand. Read snorkeling articles, watch videos, and talk to people who have done it.

The more you know about snorkeling, the less daunting it will be. You’ll know what to expect—even regarding what type of fish and other marine life you might see—and can plan accordingly.

2. Choose a Good Location

Where you snorkel can also play a role in how scared you feel. If you’re a beginner, it’s best to start in calm waters where there aren’t many waves.

In addition, consider locations that have a sandy bottom. This way, you can stand up if you start to feel scared or uncomfortable.

3. Go With a Friend

If you’re feeling nervous about snorkeling, try going with a friend or family member. Having someone else with you in the water can help alleviate your fears.

4. Take a Snorkeling Class

Sign up for a class if you want to learn more about snorkeling and feel confident in the water. Doing so gives you the chance to ask questions and get hands-on experience before going on your own.

They may even have you take swim lessons with a snorkel mask on in a swimming pool to ensure that you gain experience and are comfortable using the mask.

5. Use the Proper Snorkel Gear

Another way to ease your fears while snorkeling is to use the proper snorkel gear, such as a well-fitting snorkel mask, fins, and life jacket if needed.

You’ll be more confident in the water if you have your own snorkel gear, especially a mask. Moreover, you can adjust the straps on your mask, so it fits snugly but isn’t too tight.

6. Consider Using Full Face Snorkel Masks

Speaking of snorkel gear, if you are nervous about claustrophobia getting in the way, wearing a full face snorkel mask is a great idea because it provides a 180-degree view. 

These masks also don’t require putting the snorkel tube in your mouth.

7. Take a Swim Class

A snorkel class is one thing, but if you are a weak swimmer, you may feel a lot more assured by taking one or several swim classes to improve your skills so you don’t have to keep asking yourself “How can I stop being scared of snorkeling?”. 

Professional swim lessons will give you the necessary experience, which should, in turn, make snorkeling less of a daunting prospect. 

You’ll likely start with a floatation device on the shallow end of the pool if you are a novice, but sooner or later will feel your fear of snorkeling fade. 

8. Breathe Normally

Breathing underwater can seem unnatural and sometimes a bit nerve-wracking, especially if you’re not used to it. 

But arguably, the most vital thing to remember when snorkeling is to breathe normally. If you start to feel panicked, take a few deep breaths and try to relax.

Again, a snorkel or swim class can help with paying attention to your breath and practicing breathing underwater. 

9. Don’t Hold Your Breath

One of the reasons people, especially beginner snorkelers, ask themselves “How can I stop being scared of snorkeling” is because they hold their breath. 

Holding your breath can result in you feeling lightheaded and dizzy, making the fear worse. Again, breathing underwater is much easier when you learn to breathe steadily, as normal.

Final Thoughts

How can i stop being scared of snorkeling final thoughts

Snorkeling is a fun, educational, and relatively straightforward activity that anyone can enjoy. But if you’ve been looking online for answers to questions like, “How can I stop being scared of snorkeling?” your search is over. In sum, you can overcome your fear of snorkeling by researching snorkeling and marine life, using high-quality snorkeling equipment, wearing a full face snorkeling mask, snorkeling in small waves, and feeling confident in your abilities and breathing.

By following the tips above and taking baby steps, you can gradually ease your fear of the water, avoid having a panic attack, and have a great snorkeling experience. Ultimately, if you go at your own pace, stick with shallow water, and go on a guided trip, you should be perfectly fine. 

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