Especially for new divers it might be a problem to stay calm underwater and even if you are an experienced diver with hundredths of dives it might happen that something unexpected happens underwater which might make you uncomfortable. Preparation is the key to a safe diving experience. Most serious diving problems can easily be prevented through proper planning. Here we have got some advice for you how to make your dive more safely.
Meditation might be helpful for you to stay calm underwater. Some people have the tendency to get more nervous than others. So if you are not the totally laidback type of person this might improve your diving. You do not need to follow guided meditation, just take a quiet moment for yourself – sit down for some minutes, concentrate on your breathing and clear your mind.
No need to rush before entering the water. Stay relaxed and take all the time you need. You don’t want to enter the water with a high heart rate. Prepare your equipment and keep it nearby, so the boat is not turning into chaos before you want to start diving because everybody wants to reach their equipment first.
Also – know your equipment well and don’t underestimate the pre-dive safety check! It happens all the time that there are tanks which aren’t turned on, weight belts that are forgotten… Things that could easily be prevented if you carefully check them before you start your dive.
This one may sound strange, but train to breathe through your mouth. If you are not constantly diving you aren’t used to breathe through your mouth. Prepare yourself and practice breathing through the mouth on your way to the diving destination. Now, when you enter the water breathing from your regulator feels way more natural and staying calm underwater doesn’t seem like a problem! Furthermore, you can lower your heart rate simply by taking long, deep breath through your mouth.
Plan the dive, dive the plan. Talk everything through with your dive buddy – what is the maximum depth for your dive, what are the bottom times, which hand signals do you use (as they do vary!), etc. Only dive with a buddy you feel comfortable with! You should trust each other which builds up the confidence you need for the dive. Have a plan for emergencies – a procedure for every situation that may occur, for example what to do if you get separated from your buddy. Rehearse the procedure, so both of you can automatically act.
Listen to your instincts! Don’t do anything that isn’t feeling right to you! Never push yourself over your limits to do something you aren’t prepared for. Nobody is going to blame you. Only dive within your abilities and conditions you know! In addition to this, pay attention to those around you! If they don’t seem fine, tell them that it’s okay to not do the dive or abort the dive.
Train the SBTA – ‘Stop – Breathe – Think – Act’! If something unexpected happens it’s nearly impossible not to calm down if you are breathing slowly and deeply. If you are calm you can react reasonably to the situation and prevent any serious accidents.