A time when I was absolutely terrified was back in mid-May of 2019 when I went on a school fieldtrip to the Indian Ocean with my grade 12 class. I was amazed at the beautiful scenery of Goa Beach with all of the palm trees, the golden sand and the deep blue ocean. We stayed in bungalows along the beach with my 20 classmates and three teachers for three nights and four days. I was extremely scared on the first day of activities since I’m not a strong swimmer, and I’d never swam in the open ocean before then. I was really terrified of the big waves and for good reason. It only took about half an our before a large wave caught me feet and pulled me into the ocean. I tried to hold my breath as long as I could, but the wave kept pulling me under. Eventually, I swallowed some seawater and started chocking. At one moment, I thought I was done for and I would become fish food for the sharks and other sea animals. Luckily, a lifeguard saw me and pulled me out to the beach. The next day, our whole class was expected to go snorkelling, and I was shaking at the knees. I worked up enough courage to join the group and I ended up having a lot of fun. In the end, I look back on this experience with pride. I have learnt to respect the power of the ocean and also to be more careful when dealing with a new and dangerous situation. Also, I’m proud of myself that I didn’t give up, and since then I’ve become a much stronger swimmer.
How did you overcome your fear of the ocean the next day when you went snorkelling?
Well, firstly, I took a couple of long deep breaths, then I watched a couple of instructional videos on YouTube about how to snorkel in a safe way. Also, the tour guide and my friends gave me a lot of encouragement which helped me to conquer my fear of the water. (facing my fear)
How did your classmates feel about swimming in the ocean?
Many of my classmates were quite eager to swim in the ocean as they had spent much time at swimming pools and are confident swimmers. However, there were a few like me who were definitely more scared of the water. In fact, on student didn’t really join in on the fun because she hadn’t learned how to swim, so she spent her time collecting seashells and doing some other seaside activities.
TIP – remember your planning in the one-minute for Part 2, to give answers for Part 3!
Let’s talk more about emotions
What are common situations when people feel frightened? ***Give an answer + explanation + example + connect to Part 2!
Aside from drowning in the ocean, as I had just mentioned previously, people are petrified when they are in situations that are out of their control, these may include natural disasters like earthquakes and tsunamis, car accidents or turbulence on a plane. I was mortified when I experienced turbulence for the first time flying to Beijing.
Petrified = turned to stone, mortified = scared to death
What can people do to reduce fear in everyday situations such as exams?
Well, in order to reduce common daily anxiety, such as fear of exams, people can practice breathing techniques, as what I did before going snorkelling. Also, it is important to be prepared and do research whenever possible. And, last but not least, people need to visualize their success as this will give them tonnes of confidence. Before doing this IELTS exam, I visualized myself acing the test.
Do you believe that positive emotions have physical consequences?
Certainly, I’m a strong believer in that the mind and body are connected, so positive emotions have a very good effect on physical health such as lower blood pressure and better digestion, so it pays to be an optimist.
How about negative ones?
Well, yes of course, this is somewhat the inverse of being on the sunny side of life, as pessimistic attitude leads to stress, which in turn leads to high blood pressure, and unchecked, this will eventually lead to a stroke or heart attack. So, again, I reiterate, it pays to be an optimist.
Ruminate (vb.) – to spin (positive) negative thoughts in one’s mind over and over again.
Let’s talk about stress
Why do you think people become stressed in certain situations?
Many individuals believe that stress is the number one killer of people. Do you agree with this idea?
Have the reasons for stress changed for people these days compared to fifty years ago? If yes, how?