How Freediving Can Help Make You HappierFebruary 8, 2023
Freediving is an activity that can benefit you in many ways, from allowing you to see marine life up close, to helping you explore shipwrecks and underwater caves. But freediving is not just about the beautiful underwater views, it can also help you to achieve better physical strength, and even improve your mental health and make you feel happier.
We are going to explore seven marvelous ways that freediving can help make you happier.
Freedivers rely on one another for safety, advice, encouragement, and of course fun! If you are a newcomer to the sport you are going to develop friendships that will last a lifetime. People who have been freediving for many years will pay testament to the bonds that develop between dive buddies. Having the right group around you is vital for successful training and the successes that come with it on a personal or competitive level.
The multitude of avenues available to freedivers in modern society varying from courses, competitions, wildlife interactions, photography, and spearfishing mean that there is something available for everyone to enjoy. Finding your niche in the water means likely finding others who share similar interests as you. They may want to arrange trips with you for specific freediving adventures like wildlife excursions or depth training camps.
New to freediving? Check out our blog on How to Freedive - The Beginners Guide to Freediving.
2. Stress and anxiety relief
With breathwork, meditation, and the importance of efficient breathing coming more and more into the mainstream now, freedivers are already well aware of the importance that this makes to their chosen activity as well as their everyday life.
The Karolinska institute in Stockholm Sweden has been at the forefront of research into apneists and the physiological benefits that their breathing control gives them. Controlled diaphragmatic breathing has been shown to allow deeper and more restful sleep, reduced blood pressure, reduced heart rate, increased efficiency of CO2 removal from deoxygenated blood at the lungs, and also increased O2 saturation in blood carried in the arteries.
Many people find it hard to truly relax in the modern world with huge amounts of screen time on a daily basis amongst other challenges to our state of mind. Freedivers have always used meditation and visualization to help counter the stress and anxiety around a dive into the depths, and these same principles can be applied to daily life if they are practiced regularly. Meditation creates the mental space needed to find good solutions to the problems we all encounter in our lives.
3. Focus and discipline
Having a structure and routine is vital for success in any activity, and freediving is no different. It is very important to make a plan that is feasible, while gently pushing you to reach your goals. Creating a training regime that ensures you do not get overtrained and burnt out is essential. You have to enjoy the process.
Working with a freediving coach can benefit you as a freediver, as they have the knowledge and experience to help you achieve your personal goals and give you useful tips to perfect your technique.
Getting the results you want after putting in dedication and hard work is a very rewarding and joyful experience. Although this is discovered through freediving, these principles can be applied and crossed over to many areas of your life including work, relationships, and other hobbies.
4. Self confidence
Overcoming mental and physiological hurdles are all part of the journey that freediving will take you on. In the process of doing this, the growth in self confidence and self worth can be huge.
This feeling of becoming mentally stronger and more confident in an activity that you may once have viewed as daunting can be achieved in a relatively short space of time. Within freediving you have a lovely balance of external measures of progress (such as adding depth), and the internal measures (such as increased confidence and pride).
Need some more reasons to take up freediving? Learn to Freedive: 9 Reasons Why Freediving is the Perfect Hobby.
5. Self exploration
A key part of freediving is learning how you react under pressure. Taking your mind and body to a place where there is no air to breathe goes against all of our natural instincts as humans. Learning to stay calm, handle that reality, and keep pushing your boundaries a little further each time really teaches you a lot about yourself.
You will realize that you do not need to be a superhero to achieve some quite fantastic results in the water. It will reset the bar of what you think you are capable of.
6. Healthy lifestyle
Freediving promotes a lifestyle that is better for the body as well as the mind.
Changes in diet have a dramatic effect on mood, health, and energy levels, and freedivers are aware of the importance of a good diet to allow them to perform at their physical best in the water. Removing processed foods from your diet is one of the most important changes you can make, and the introduction of fruits, vegetables, and vitamins are hugely beneficial.
Diving requires physical strength and flexibility, which can all be improved with gym sessions and yoga, many freedivers practice these regularly. Freediving can also make you lose body fat due to metabolites created as a result of anaerobic activity, and lowering body fat while staying strong and eating well are all a recipe for overall health.
Check out this interview with a couple that designed their life around their passion: Living the Dream: An interview with freediving couple Daan Verhoeven and Georgina Miller.
7. Immerse yourself in nature
A lot of great freediving spots happen to be in spectacular locations both for scenery and also marine life. Exposure to nature has been shown in many studies to decrease both physical and mental stress in human beings.
Whether you are in colder regions or tropical climates, freediving gives you access to some spectacular interactions with wildlife that cannot fail to give a boost to your mood and overall happiness. You may need to don a 7mm wetsuit to swim with seals or basking sharks in the UK, perhaps even a 9mm custom suit to see the incredible visibility at Silfra in Iceland, but these experiences bring just as much joy as swimming with mantas in warm tropical waters. There is so much beauty below the waves all around the world.