It’s OK to think about sharks, everyone else does

I often say there are two types of ocean swimmers.

Those who admit they think about sharks and liars.

Sure, not everyone thinks about sharks all the time, but everyone has and will, at some point, think about them.

It might be a time when you (subconsciously or consciously) catch yourself going, “It feels a little sharky”.

It could be when you sense a movement in the water below you that you weren’t expecting.

You may even think about sharks when your goggle strap flaps in your peripheral vision.

When you find yourself swimming alone away from the group, you might wonder whether it’s a good idea.

Thinking about sharks is a completely normal thing to do, and there is nothing wrong with you if you think about them.

Trust me, everyone else is thinking about them.

The trick is to not overthink about sharks.

You’ll need to decide how you do this because you are 100% responsible for your own thoughts.

Maybe a statistical comparison will help you; “You’re more likely to be xxx xxx xxx than have an encounter with a shark”.

Read: Don’t stop swimming because of sexy shark attacks

You could even start to think that a shark encounter would be a great thing, I mean, how many people get to swim with a shark in the wild?!

For me, I use rationalisation.

“Do people usually swim here?” Yes, they do.

“Is it daytime?” Yes, it is.

“Am I swimming with others?” Yes, I am.

“Are my irrational thoughts helping me?” No, they are not.

“Are my negative beliefs based on past experiences? No, they are not.

“Right, I am going to go and enjoy this swim!”

Before you enter the water, be at peace, choose a positive mindset and have confidence that everything will work out just fine.

Read: Fear is easy; Let’s choose the higher path

Finally, I couldn’t write about sharks without discussing shark deterrents, the most popular of which is Sharkbanz.

What do I think about these devices?

You don’t need one.

However, if wearing one reduces your anxiety and gets you in the open water more, for longer, then great!

Do me one favour, though: discreetly put your device on and keep quiet about it. No one else needs to know you’re wearing one, and they definitely don’t want to hear about how they don’t have one – it’s the fastest way to ruin someone else’s swim.

Remember, sharks are amazing creatures, I’m having a wonderful time, life is good.

And that’s no lie!

Read: Shark bite changes ocean swimmer’s perspective (

Read: Shark bite first aid for ocean swimmers

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