One of the biggest misconceptions with floating is that you need to ‘switch off ‘ your thoughts in order to get the most out of the experience. Customers often come out of the float pod saying ‘it was good but I couldn’t switch off’ often thinking that to achieve deep relaxation, they need to empty their head of all the things that’s causing stress. Does this sound like you? It doesn’t need to be like this.
For those of us who are constantly bombarded with external stimulus every single day, it becomes a challenge to be asked to empty our thoughts to relax. We all live busy lives, juggling work, family, the odd external crisis that flips our world upside down. We are constantly at the mercy of our blue screen phones, processing noise and air pollution, or even dealing with the temperature changes in weather. While the float tank is a fantastic ‘escape’ from these things, many people are yet to realise what can be achieved when you go into the float to ‘think’.
Before we get into this further, I just want to recap on what a float environment looks like. We combine over 500kg of epsom salt in a large body of water to allow you to float effortlessly on the surface of the water. So if you have any strains, pinch points, or tension down the back of your body, floating on the surface of water could give you great relief. We also reduce the amount of external stimulus to the brain by decreasing the amount of sound, smell, light that is present in the room, as well as making the water and air the same temperature as the skin. When you reduce these, all of a sudden your brain has so much more space to think and rest.
When I take clients through their float introduction, I always make them aware of the kind of things that can be achieved with floating. When I go into the float tank, I use this time to think about problems at home, issues with the business, search for creative inspiration. A lot of the biggest decisions we have made since we started Clear Mind Studio have been mulled over in the float tank.
I will give you a few examples…
When I was FIFO I would come back from work and go into a float to help transition between work life and home life. In the float I would think about all the things that happened during my work trip. ‘Why the hell would you think about work’ I hear you ask. It’s important to process all the decisions you make so that they are not hanging over you while you are at home. Did I do a good job? Did I make the right decisions? Will that pipe fit? If you are too busy worrying about hypothetical situations that you have no control over while at home, how are you going to be able to give 100% to your family and friends who want to spend time with you. After an hour in a float I am focussed on being at home, ready to take on my responsibilities, and looking forward to having fun.
Another example is preparing yourself for large social events. Many of us feel uncomfortable mingling at parties or events because we often worry about the right things to say, or think that we are not interesting enough for people to talk to. In the float tank you become super suggestible, just like hypnosis, so telling yourself positive affirmations in the float tank, or playing out positive scenarios visually can be very beneficial. Our brains are wired to take everything we say at face value, it doesn’t understand sarcasm or tone when we tell ourselves things in our head. So thinking positively in the float tank has been attributed to people changing their mindset. This also extends to those trying to give up addictions such as smoking.
Another reason I suggest switching on in the float tank is that the issues you have at home wont go away by simply coming into relax. You may feel refreshed and have forgotten them for a while, but they will still be there when you get home. We hope that feeling relaxed will make them easier to manage, but thinking about them with all the external stimulus returned can be difficult. That’s why using the float tank time to think about issues is such a good idea. You set aside an hour to save you many hours of overthinking at home.
Looking to get creative? Musicians, artists, entrepreneurs, social media experts etc can all benefit from floating because you free up the right side of your brain which is responsible for creativity. When I was writing my novel, I floated to make decisions on where characters would go. If they went in one direction it would be a completely different story than if they went in another direction. I could play out the scenes in my mind as if it was a movie, allowing me to make better decisions on the story and limit any extra drafting later on. Karen loves to float when she feels like her creative side is foggy and she can’t come up with ideas for Clear Mind Studio. After a float she is often seen scribbling into her notepad in the relax room.
The reason I can find solutions to these issues is that I don’t fight my brain when it wants to stay busy. I treat the float tank as a distraction free zone where I can think clearly about any number of issues. Eventually the more times you float the more you are able to achieve a state of calm and solve many more problems. When we have solutions to problems, we remove the root of our stress rather than push it to one side. An hour in the float tank is giving you permission to solve some problems, meaning that when you go home you can have some quality time to enjoy your life.
Everyone visualises things differently. When I am floating I imagine 6 TV screens playing out 6 different scenarios in my life. Each represents a problem I am having at that moment in time. All the screens blackout leaving one playing, and that’s the one I focus on until it’s resolved in some way. Once it’s done, the 5 screens switch on again and the first screen disappears. I repeat this process until no TV screens remain.
What process works for you? I would love to find out.
Have any questions about floating? Let us know in the comments.