From a psychological stand point, visualisation is commonly used to help overcome fears and emotions involved in high stress environments. It may help you to sit in a quiet place by yourself for a few minutes a couple of times a week and visualise yourself at depth, with your mask flooding and visualise how you will handle the situation. its important to visualise all the emotions associated with it such as you panicking and then calming yourself down and clearing your mask. If it happens to you, remember to STOP, BREATH,THINK,ACT.
Go to a dive shop and get them to look at the mask as you test it. I’m pretty sure you’ll get good advice. Get a good fitting with your facial contours. May need to go get refitted. Usually each brand has several different frame styles. There are masks out there now with super soft silicone that seal very easily without the mask being tight.
I would suggest practicing mask clearing and mask removal skills in shallow water until you are competent at them, that way you won’t fear doing them at depth. As far rationalizing you’re fear, you do not need to over tighten you’re mask as the deeper you are the greater the pressure of the water surrounding you so the less likely you are to get a leak in you’re mask, by over tightening it you are more likely to cause a leak than if you leave it fitted correctly, strap just tight enough that you can pull the mask away from you’re face.
Perhaps a private lesson or two to master the skills of breathing through the regulator without a mask by internally blocking your nose and breathing through your mask might help alleviate the anxiety underlying getting water in your mask that underlies the whole thing. Breath with no mask at the surface with their face in the water to get you used to the sensation of having water on your faces, remove your masks in about 4m of water or so and breath for about a minute without it.
The deeper a you dive does NOT increase the pressure of the mask on your face! The mask has a your nose in it for a reason, as the air you breath equalizes the pressure between the air within the mask and the water pressure. When we are diving we equalize our air spaces (including mask) to adjust for the impact of Bowle’s Law. If this was not true then you would experience mask squeeze more severely within the first 10 meters, again Boyle’s Law.
How to Stop Your Dive Mask from Leaking ?
Dive mask leaking ! It shouldn’t happen if your mask is a correct fit to your face. Reminded I’d also suggest you go and practice your mask clearing drills until it becomes second nature rather than a near panic attack. Stay shallow until you are comfortable doing it. Learn how to become comfortable with water in your mask, taking off your mask and clearing it. Make sure your hair does not block your mask.
Make sure the strap is not too tight. A really common error with a leaking mask is to keep tightening the strap in the hope it will force it to seal. It won’t, it will just deform the skirt causing more leakage. The more you tighthen your mask the more water you will get in.
Over tightening the mask straps can potentially cause the leakage to be worse. Best to tighten it just enough for it to sit comfortably on your face. As you get deeper the pressure increases and naturally your mask squeezes tighter on your face.
You can learn the awesome skill by Christian Wedoy how to clearing diving mask underwater on this video:
Anyway, I understand the thoughts of it leaking makes you uncomfortable but it really shouldn’t. I failed my first few attempts for mask clearing and my instructor told me she wouldn’t let me pass my ow certification if I couldn’t perform mask clearing. I had to practice for 1 hour until I was comfortable even to dive without my mask , that was when she let me did my open water dive.
Yes that’s one of the skill requirements, ussualy the Instructor always get the students to do it at the surface before doing it underwater so they already know what to expect when they do have to do it deeper. Good luck!