thalassophobia is an anxiety disorder characterized by strong and constant fear of the sea or deep water, which increases with summer trips (if family obligations force you to go to the beach). People with thalassophobia experience an overpowering feeling fear and sadness at the thought of being near the ocean, swimming in deep water, or even viewing images related to the sea. This phobia is a disorder irrational and unruly which promoted the world of fiction, giving rise to other water-related phobias such as selachophobia or the fear of sharks (Steven Spielberg did a lot of damage).

Symptoms that people with thalassophobia suffer from

people who suffer thalassophobia they may experience a variety of symptoms that can be physical, cognitive, and emotional. Regardless of what the triggers for the appearance of the phobia were, thalassophobia or fear of the sea gives rise to several symptoms that affect well-being and quality of life:

1. Fear, anxiety and intense sadness or even panic attacks at the thought of being near the sea or deep water: Phobias are classified as anxiety disorders, so the main accompanying symptoms that we can detect are dizziness, tachycardia, sweating, difficulty breathing, tension or muscle spasms… Anyone who suffers from thalassophobia or fear of the sea experiences anxiety attacks and may even suffer from anxiety attacks, panic attacks.

2. Difficulty breathing, feeling of suffocation or shortness of breath. Rapid heart rate or irregular heart rhythm. Excessive sweating and tremors or dizziness when you are near or think of the sea: in fact, it is a consequence of the fear or anxiety that can arise when a person suffering from this disorder is near the sea or even thinks about it.

3. Actively avoiding activities related to the sea, such as swimming, boating, diving, or even watching images or videos related to the sea: eThe dread and anxiety of anticipation generate those situations of potential danger that should be avoided, so they avoid places where they may be exposed to the sea, such as days at the beach, walks, plane or boat trips, etc. In more complex cases the person may even avoid viewing images or videos containing these situations.

4. Obsessive thoughts: Although thinking rationally, the person knows that there is no danger, irrational and catastrophic obsessions related to the sea appear in his mind, such as the idea of ​​drowning or being washed away by the waves. It is very difficult to get rid of these thoughts, and they cause a lot of pain, causing symptoms of anxiety.

5. Difficulty controlling or overcoming fear that interferes with daily life: Thalassophobia and its symptoms cause great discomfort to the person who suffers from them and can cause him to change his lifestyle from day to day. Social events associated with the sea, travel or even living in a coastal area can be very unpleasant for a person, which will determine his life.

How to overcome thalassophobia

Experts boncocoThe 100% online service of psychology and psychotherapy, which is responsible for finding the most suitable specialist for the needs of each person, ensures that the way to overcome thalassophobia is to resort to individual approach and the help of a mental health professional specializing in cognitive behavioral therapy. This approach is one of the most effective in the treatment phobiasas it helps to bring out irrational thoughts and beliefs about the sea in order to challenge them and replace them with more realistic and positive thoughts.

Woman on the seashore with open arms. / Image by Drazen Zigic on Freepik.

Another possible approach is through psychological therapy gradual impact, which includes the impact of situations of concern related to the sea. Start with soft exposure and progress to more difficult situations can help reduce fear and anxiety as a person feels more comfortable and safe. With progressive exposure, they acquire tools the ability to cope and sensitivity to those situations that cause thalassophobia is reduced. In any case, Buencoco specialists assure that the therapy depends on each case. Sometimes there are people who are so afraid that they cannot imagine that they will have to expose themselves, so the psychologist must evaluate what treatment will be the best.

relaxation therapiessuch as deep breathing, meditation, or progressive muscle relaxation can be very helpful in controlling anxiety and stress Associated with thalassophobia. This might also work cognitive restructuring, through which we present scenarios related to the sea in a controlled and positive way, which can help change your emotional and cognitive responses to these stimuli. Psychologists Mr. boncoco they also emphasize that the support of family, friends, or support groups is key to providing a safe space to share experiences and receive the necessary emotional support in the process of improvement.

Benefits of the sea for your mental health

1. Relaxation and stress relief: The sea breeze is saturated with negative ions, which, unlike positive ones, are of great benefit to our body. They stand for cell renewalrestore nervous balance and stimulate the production serotonin, known as the hormone of happiness, which gives us a tremendous sense of well-being. Being close to the sea, listening to the sound of the waves and enjoying the sea breeze, you have a calming and relaxing effect on the body and mind, reduce stress and promote relaxation.

A woman comes out of the sea. / Image from Freepik.

2. Mood Improvement: contact with nature, including the sea, was associated with improved mood and reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety. The combination of the natural beauty of the sea and sun exposure can stimulate the release of endorphins and serotoninneurotransmitters associated with feelings of well-being.

3. Helps you sleep better: the relaxation provided by being on the coast helps let’s sleep better. It’s not just that when you’re near the sea, you’ll probably also be on vacation, but that waves promote a state of relaxation. In addition, after several hours on the beach, after a bath and a walk, the ease of falling asleep increases faster.

4. Benefits for physical health: the sea offers opportunities for physical activities such as swimming, surfing, walking on the beach or playing water sports. These exercises allow you to improve physical condition, strengthen muscles, increase endurance and provide an interesting way to exercise.

5. Sense of connection and perspective: the immensity of the ocean and the vastness of the sea horizon can give you a sense of being connected to something bigger than yourself. This can create a feeling humility, calmness and perspectiverather, helping to put everyday problems on a larger scale. And that’s what closeness to the sea fills us with inner peace and a great responsibility lies with its blue color, which, together with the color of the sky, helps to calm our mood, relax and feel more satisfied and even become much more creative.

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