16 Tips On How To Deal With Pre-Dive Stress

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You are a diver about to go for water entry but there are already a million and one issues nagging your mind!

May be it’s an encounter with unidentified swimming objects. You are worried that you might not see clearly, because the half mask might soon fog from your breathing. How about the breathing gas running out before you are done?

Oh, and the dive master said something about this scuba which you did not hear clearly. May be it’s faulty!

The breeder from the fish farm insisted that he needed male and female lobsters and crayfish. You cannot tell the difference between a male and a female lobster. Now you are out on a closed circuit announcing to the water world that you are here. Last time you tried this all the fish swam away from you!

Operating a video camera underwater even on a propulsion vehicle has never been your thing, though you believe, there might be better cameras out there but never had a chance to try them.

You feel nervous and had a slight headache this morning…

You Are Stressed!

A headache is a sign that your brain chemicals have started being on the overdrive and likely that you will snap. Down the line of anxiety, the brain chemicals will make you angry with your boss, hate your work and take away your energy and money through medication. Dealing with pre-dive stress ensures that you adapt to your environment, do more and are always looking forward for the next dive.

Stress Can Be Good

Absolutely! Slight to moderate stress is good once in a while. It spikes our creativity and performance, makes us push deadlines, and helps us achieve our goals. However, ongoing burden and strain in our lives can lead to chronic stress, which is a medical condition that requires help before it develops to a more scary depression.

But What Is Stress?

Stress is a sensation of strain and pressure in our lives. Human beings naturally sense defeat when they believe that they don’t have what it takes to cope with feelings, other people and situations.

The sense of defeat is related to our workplace and its surroundings and to negative emotions that we have on a situation. Stress can have a lot of harmful effects on our lives depending on our age, bodily well-being and personality.

May be you are a part of a member of a dive team searching below for spectacular scenes for a blockbuster movie. Perhaps you are testing your precision in underwater photography or just searching around for a sea snake for your aquarium. Don’t let equipment stress or diving anxiety ruin your plans.

Well, we all have something to die for sometimes. But guys (and girls), you really don’t have to die thinking about how to do what you love.

Here are a few tips on how to overcome pre-dive stress before you hit the waters.

1. Select A Scuba Which Excites You

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Be in love with your scuba because it will be your companion for the long dive. Whether you are getting something below, or just scouting for the timeless caves and wrecks left behind by our ancestors, getting a matching selection of scuba will work magic in dealing with pre-dive stress.

Divers cruising down for navigation might find an open circuit scuba better for navigation because of its excellent buoyancy control. But if you are going to record the voices of whales and mating shrimps, it might be better to go for a closed circuit rebreather scuba which is less noisy. You also don’t need the bubble interference on your video, which comes with an open circuit scuba.

To get comfy with your scuba, test it a few days before the real job. This will help you identify any faults in it. It’s also the best way to check its buoyancy control, rate of gas consumption, or whether the monitors are in good working order.

2. Get Safety Equipment

Getting caught in a wreck of cast iron, 80 meters below, is scary. More so, some scared poisonous fish might lurk beneath the mangles!

Proper preparation and selection of safety equipment will reduce the hassle. Get ready with knives, shears, underwater flares, light, whistles, buoy, beacons or any other equipment that will help entangle yourself from a wreck or enable you to escape.

You might like to avoid enclosed spaces or have a high-powered waterproof flashlight in situations where you are visiting maze duct caves. However, make sure that the magic of the flashlight doesn’t scare away the water animals.

A well-fitting equipment is a neat method of dealing with pre-dive stress of losing equipment on the go. You never know when you might be swept by a strong current and your penknife goes whisking into oblivion. Getting a fitting safety gear saves you the hassle of running after it incase it’s swept by water currents.

3. Spend On Proper Accessories

There is nothing sadder than sitting on your desk staring at blanks from a video camera that was messy to work with in the first place.

Getting proper accessories for photography or ocean research requires your keenness on task planning, task loading, and familiarity working in the ocean condition. This will give you clues on tools you require for each equipment. Properly maintained equipment has less downtime, and would make your diving moment worth every while.

4. Work With An Active Team

We all have been in those teams where we really want to try out something but the rest of the members don’t feel our vibe. If you are in a team that was supposed to check out on the caves, for instance, but no one feels like going for it, you can really feel demoralized to do the task.

Get into a team that is more active. If you are the leader, get more upbeat. Half of those team mates look up to you. They like your guts but they can never admit it.

Hold yourself accountable for delivering your results to them. Encourage them to trust one another. Keep the positive atmosphere alive because it is contagious

Team members find that collective results need organization. When planning for the dive, make sure you only allocate tasks to people who can actually do them. This will help you to feel comfortable with what you do and not burn out very fast.

If you delegate the right tasks to the right people, dealing with pre-dive stress related to unclear tasks becomes a thing of the past. Henceforth, committing to decisions and plan of action comes automatically.

5. Bring A Touch Of Flexibility In Your Life

Flexible divers know that a scuba and a snorkel suit different environments, but extra flexible divers know that these two equipment can work together to enhance their performance in the waters. If you are looking for speed, conserving your breathing air, or swimming over entangled weeds (which might mess with the regulator by the way), a snorkel might be a good companion at the dive.

Depth gauge and watches can easily be replaced with dive computers, which would enable easier navigation. While the two can complement each other, complex, failure modes can still interfere with their operation.

Flexible divers find that learning new skills or in new environments will expose them to better equipment which can reduce pre-dive stress remarkably.

6. Talk To A Solo Diver – Know The Vigilance

A solo diver is a man of skills. He has no buddy to turn to if pressure equalization fails, when his regulator gets faulty, or when whisked by the currents into a vacuum!

This guy has learnt over time that even the best equipment needs testing before a long run in the water.  He is constantly on the lookout for task loading messes, because they might mean losing the job. Scuba gas planning is his best time with the equipment because he knows that just like a second hand parachute, this scuba might be his last to use.

Solo divers have great clues on how to get out of messy situations, like enclosed space and fish hunter traps. They are also the best people to give advice on the rough waters to avoid.

7. Snug Comfortably On Your Seat Of Senses

A diving experience is a fully satisfying activity when your head is protected. A better way of dealing with pre-dive stress related to head integrity is to choose a good helmet that is comfortable to your head even in water below 15 ° C. While at it, get a cozy mask that will cover at least the nose and the eyes.

If you are going up to 50 meters below the waters, using a full-face mask that covers the mouth, nose and eyes is much better because it can guard the integrity of their airways in case you lose consciousness. However if you are only breaking below the water to less than 30 meters, a half mask may well serve the purpose.

8. But Home Is Always The Best

When the worst comes, you can always head back to the surface. You only need a lifting bag or a buoy and a compass. These devices can also serve as beacons to help you connect back to your team.

When you are feeling like an alien about to land on a foreign planet, there is nothing as comforting as knowing that the compass in your pocket can always guide you back. Team divers invest in guidelines that can always tow them back to their team. Again, they always have the benefits of the beacons, flares and buoys.

9. Getting Mobile

If all that distance below the ocean scares you and you think that walking from the seashore seaward is better, think again, because you don’t have to. You can get propulsion vehicles, sleds, scooters – the list is endless.

Want to spend time at the bottom collecting weed? A diver propulsion vehicle might be better because you need to carry all the equipment required for observation and classification of these magic plants that hide below the water.

Scooters for scouting the ocean beds also give you the same advantage without the traffic police! Sleds give you the benefit you get from striking out on your favorite moves and exercising those biceps and trapezes! They also enable you to defeat speed when you really have to and you are on tight schedule.

10. Inert Gases Are Not All That Noble To Scare You!

Inert gases misbehave when they get past our bloodstreams and might ultimately form bubbles that can lead to air embolism, a common cause of death for divers. However, different gas mixtures exist which can reduce the narcotic effect of inert gases on your bloodstreams.

Selecting the right gas will solve problems related to decompression time and ensure that you don’t feel nervous any time your eyes set on the gas monitor. Choosing the right gas mixture will extend your comfortable stay below the waters, enable you to task load easily, and ensure that you don’t gobble down poisons in your lungs.

11. Don’t Expect To Dig A Hole To The Other Side Of The Planet

Matching abilities to our capabilities can be the clue to living a hassle free life. Imagine diving to a 100 meters when you only had one experience below the ocean!

It takes time to develop skills. What’s more, it takes a good instructor to guide you on the proper procedures to adopt, given your age, personality, and physical well-being. On the other hand, divers who constantly engage in underwater sports find that the more they engage in them the better they become.

Depending on goals to be achieved it is better to train as highly as you can to achieve an A rating for a diver. Patience and looking back at what you have achieved can help you take the drills with ease.

12. But big brother always said it

You always knew you hated diving because a lesson mate said something about your clumsiness with the regulator. But you know you can use a regulator perfectly anyway. In fact, this is your tenth dive and you’ve never had a problem.

Truth is, you are adapting to the water environment. This adaptation is motivating you to believe that you can decompress comfortably on your own. The more you believe that the regulator will not screw you up because it fits the purpose, the less you will have a risk of messing up. You will stop feeling that you are clumsy with the regulator and find out how you actually are good at it.

That progression of defeating our fears is very important in changing our stressors from bad to good. It enables a productive life where working is enjoyable.

13. Remember Your Dive Plan And Keep It So

The dive planning procedures enables a diver to reduce drowning, decompression sickness or get lost. Getting acquainted with the water entry, exit and descent procedure a day before the dive, helps a diver remarkably. Heeding to the working order and signal directions will ensure that you don’t find yourself bleeping an SOS and there is no one to answer!

14. Check All The Gear, Equipment, And Materials

Pressure gauges, masks, regulators and monitors wear down over time. You don’t want to be in the middle of a task and the gas is gone although the gauge indicates that you are still are safe.

Checking all the valve connections, cylinder integrity, lubrication systems, software’s and hardware’s integrity on dive computers, air space provisions on masks, etc. will ensure that good vision, keenness, and operation is not compromised. There might not be a second chance with a carnivorous fish, in case the harpoon is faulty!

15. Let Work Be Play

But you can still enjoy your tasks and action as well as you enjoy, your escapades on a kayak adventure. It only needs slight tweaking of your feelings about it. In essence, think about doing the following.

Request your boss on how you can collaborate on drafting of your routine actions and tasks. This will not only show that you care about your responsibilities, but will also show your interest toward it. It will help you make a schedule that is compatible with your hobbies and interests and ensure that you work within your abilities and skills.

Get a consultant to suggest different approach to challenges you face when diving and work loading. Strike out a hobby that is in line with your profession. Simply collecting seashells from the ocean bed will be a great pastime, for a lifelong profession.

16. Guide The Chemicals Firing In Your Brain

The brain is good at firing chemicals to our bodies when in distress. These chemicals called stress hormones, mainly cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine, inform the body to get ready for a fight or run for safety.

The body is busy breaking reserve food to meet the demand for energy. Your muscles get tense and digestion slows down. The result? Blood sugar and pressure rises. The body hopes that you will remove the stress but you don’t!

Ongoing stress depletes our energy reserve, makes us more tired and think less clearly, and eventually leads to communication breakdown, anxiety, and other progress to mental disorders unless we take action. Finding a way to calm the nerves helps a great deal in reducing stress. Such methods would include:

Enough sleep: Rest energizes you and enables you to think clearly. Sleep ensures that you are able to focus, and therefore communicate freely. You become less irritable under pressure and improve your reaction time to hazards and situations.

Meditate: To really convert bad stressors to good ones, which motivate you and increase performance, meditating on them can help you focus and therefore find solution to them. It also builds resilience and toughness that can help you go for long without snapping.

Meditation gives you a chance to learn proper breathing to spike up your lung volume for moments when you might not need a scuba.

Train your mind to be quite in order to increase attention to detail. This will enable you to work under low visibility even when lost in the water caves with a dead flashlight.

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Diving is a fulfilling experience, with a lot of magic in it. We can help you discover your potential by making sure that the material and equipment you use match your capability. Additionally, the above tips will help you think straight and stress less before making that dive into the waters.

Stressing will only diminish your energy and sap your power of making decisions. Trust us, you don’t want that when planning for a descent into the waters! In fact, you need all the energy you can get to decide the best moves for the dive.

In essence, a diver owns the marine water. Dealing with pre-dive stress ensures that you are not an alien in your own world.

Source

  1. Dealing with Pre-Dive Stress, scubadiverlife.com
My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!