How to avoid stressful situations?
Every time you enter the water in a new place, with a new partner or in difficult conditions, you may feel stress. Feeling nervous in such situations is of course a completely normal phenomenon, but it must be kept at a reasonable level and cannot get out of control. Loss of control over your own behavior can quickly turn into panic, which is completely unacceptable when you are underwater. Panic is a feeling of sudden intense anxiety, during which you are not able to make logical decisions. In the case of diving, it usually provokes the desire of quick ascent to the surface, which may also lead to breath holding. As you already know … it is extremely dangerous to stop breathing while ascending and it is very likely that in such a case one might end up with lung injury. When it comes to technical diving, it also refers to omitting the required decompression stops.
Is it possible to limit the feeling of anxiety?
Of course …
First of all, work hard during the training. The more time you spend for skill training under the professional guidance, the easier it will be to manage an uncomfortable situation. If you struggle doing any exercise, train it until you have mastered the skill. Things seem difficult when you are not able to do them. Tame the beast and get the things done under an instructor supervision during the training.
Second, train your skills every time you are free. Do not avoid uncomfortable exercises. For example, many novice divers feel uncomfortable taking off their mask underwater. Having finished the training, they avoid flooding the mask, which in consequence leads to fear aggravation. Quietly, they hope that it will never happen to them. Are you sure…?
Try to perform skills being neutrally buoyant. Standing or kneeling at the bottom, establish bad habits that prove to be dangerous in reality. Sometimes there are no objects underwater to support with. Gradually increase the difficulty of the training.
Thirdly, choose a dive training where the instructor will show your limitations. Thanks to this, you will have the chance to avoid many dangerous situations.
If you are already a technical diver, practice your skills until they become your habit. In a stressful situation, one performs the procedures he has mastered the best. Do not try to learn many techniques to cope with the same emergency situation. Master one to reach perfection.
Fourthly, always act responsibly in the water and choose your diving partners reasonably. A poorly trained or breaking limits buddy may pose a big threat underwater.
Fifth, if you had a longer break in diving, refresh your knowledge under the supervision of an instructor. Perform the first dives in easy and well-known places without overestimating your capabilities. Even very experienced technical divers spent some time to refresh their skills and abilities after an extended period when they have been out of the sport.
Sixth, take care of your equipment and use a streamlined configuration. Never underestimate the pre-dive procedure before diving and do not enter the water with the equipment damage or malfunction. Minor failures are often underestimated. Accidents are rare, but often with tragic outcomes. It is wrong to think that this does not concern us. Proper equipment handling, care and control before each dive should be an uncompromising rule.
Seventh, gain the experience gradually and do not take the easy way. A hasty rush for complex diving experiences is highly inadvisable. It is also a frequent cause of accidents. Even the best-mastered diving technique must go hand in hand with the readiness of mind for more complex tasks.
Eighth, each change you make in your gear configuration, try out under controlled conditions before you go diving in more complex environment.
Ninth … Remember that attractive pictures or videos, the instructor sugarcoated opinions or appealing descriptions will not go diving instead of you. Marketing is aimed to take advantage of our human weaknesses. Probably more than once, you have used a sensational widely advertised product that turned out to be incredibly bad …
Tenth … If anything goes wrong underwater, try to control and manage your stress at all costs. Calm your breath, proceed with caution, calmly but in a determined way and quickly. Show the partner that you have a problem ….
„ To be fearless is to be mindless”