How To Get Through Challenging Floats
May 5, 2018
Ok, let’s be honest…
The benefits of floating are incredible and always seem to give you what you need when you step into the pod that day. Whether it’s refreshing your mind, decompressing your body or allowing the time and space for vital reflection on the most pressing questions or challenges – a float can help you take care of it all and more.
However, it’s a double-edged sword as these results do not always come so easily every time.
Sometimes you drop right into a deep state of relaxation, relief, and pure bliss.
Then, there are the floats that I’d argue are much more important for you. A test to not be distracted, to face the questions or challenges you’ve been avoiding or simply persisting in the practice of doing nothing when your mind is screaming at you with all of the to-dos or fictional consequences playing out from the 60 minutes of disconnecting.
There’s much more value in that than you may realize.
Don’t just take my word for it, our members and community agree:
“I look forward to my monthly float. For me, it is about relaxation. Sometimes I start my float with my head spinning from the chaos of the day and all the things I have left to do. I end the float with my mind at peace and more focused, and I find that I am in a much better space to get things done.” — Sameen S.
If you give into the temptation of hopping out of the pod early, staying connected 24/7 or skipping activities that help you most – you lose out on building momentum for a better you.
I’ve had many floats where I think I’m not getting the “full experience” if I’m not as relaxed as past sessions, yet later on in the week I still see the benefits of floating come into play.
The long game. The big picture. The habits, skills and compounding benefits of consistency.
“Floating is such a great way to relax and recharge! I was pretty skeptical at first, but after the second visit, I was a fan! The first float, was challenging because it is a dark, unknown space, but once you let go, the benefits start to set in. These sessions are a great way to release stress, tension, relax muscles and meditate.” — Alyse O.
It’s inevitable you will encounter a challenging float at some point (it may even be your first), so let’s cover how to deal with it to ensure you’ll push through for the full benefits of floating:
- Use breathing techniques to help calm you down or better control your focus if you find yourself “bored”, uncomfortable or distracted in the tank. You can try the square (or box) breathing technique where you simply count 4 seconds for each in and out breathe.
- Drop any expectations of what you were wanting from your float. Many of my most challenging floats came when I went in expecting a certain type of experience or result based on past float sessions.
“I’m new to floating and I always wonder if I’m “doing it right,” but I feel increased ease in my body and peace with myself and the universe when I leave, so that feels like a good result to me!” — Wendy E.
- Shift your focus and find opportunities during your float. With our always-on culture, it’s difficult for many of us to disconnect even for just an hour. I find myself getting anxious and caught up so much in time while in the tank (as you lose all sense of time – it can feel both like a few minutes and a few hours), which I’ve begun to use as an opportunity for practicing trust that those facilitating my float will do their job in letting me know when the time is up.
- If you’re really struggling to stay in or can’t get comfortable at all, you can do some simple stretches or movements in the tank (although be aware that this can pull heat from the water, making it colder if you move too much).
- Mind won’t shut off? Let it wander or focus on where it goes – perhaps there are insights that you can make within the tank. Floating isn’t all about meditation and clearing your mind, I’ve had incredible ideas and dropped the weight of traumatic experiences that I held on to for too long.
“The first “float” was a little scary but as I was able to allow my mind to catch up to the level of relaxation of my body, the experience was pure bliss.” — James Jones
- When my floats really aren’t ‘working’ in the way I’d like them to (again, expectations) and I have tried all of the above, I just challenge myself to stay in until the music comes on. I’ve floated enough to know the benefits that will come and that anything that’s happening in that time, I can deal with afterward.
With that being said, it’s important to know and judge for yourself if you should get out early.
Sometimes, it doesn’t make sense to push yourself if you’re too hungry, overly dehydrated or need to use the bathroom. Even shorter floats can bring you lots of value for the weeks ahead, especially when done on a consistent basis.
I will always love the instant, deep floats where I can fully let go.
But it’s the ones that challenge me where I grow the most.
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