OK, so you have finally done it. You’ve purged your social media, deleted a few hundred emails, removed all the junk from your phone, decluttered every nook and cranny in your computer. Now you know where everything is, and must be feeling a lot better and relaxed, right?
But wait a minute. There’s one place you’ve forgotten to clear and unclog. Your head.
Many of us go through our lives without ever giving our minds a good clear-out, instead, allowing old thoughts, concerns, beliefs, worries and irritations to influence our personalities.
They say the average person has up to 50,000 thoughts a day and if there’s no mechanism for giving those thoughts a regular clear-out, our minds become less structured and full of chaos. When you have too many thoughts firing in your brain and cluttering up the space, the impact cannot be overstated to the point of overwhelming. We’re talking stress, anxiety and depression; fatigue; behavioural changes; a lack of productivity at work; and negative effects on relationships, to name a few.
When you talk to an IT guru about your PC problems, when the system is slow and sluggish, they say “if all else fails, switch it off and on”. A reboot usually always works.
Your mind is the same. It’s like having thousands of window tabs open all competing for space and resources to process the information it’s being fed, from all five senses. A one-hour Float gives you the opportunity for a mind reboot, reset and detox. Many people that Float with us use the words “sharpness, clarity and focus” to describe how their mind feels following a Float. This is the effect of the reboot.
Floatation therapy is heralded for its ability to reduce stress, relieve pain, and promote good health, many people also appreciate floating because of its ability to totally relax a person albeit in a strange environment and it’s because of this sensory deprivation environment that makes it happen.
Sensory deprivation is the removal of external stimuli from the senses. At the most basic level, a blindfold or earplugs are a form of sensory deprivation. In a float room, sight and sounds are also removed. The air and water are also heated to skin temperature, so it becomes impossible to know where your skin ends and the water begins. And, of course, you are floating.
The science of sensory deprivation is known as Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy (REST). REST in a float room has shown a transition from alpha or beta brainwaves to theta, which would ordinarily only occur before sleep and waking.
In a flotation room, theta brain waves occur whilst the user is fully conscious. For many users, this allows for great creativity and problem-solving whilst ‘re-wiring’ the mind, just like a computer being rebooted.
Your brain uses a lot of power to deal with the strain of gravity on the body, however, in an isolation environment, your body and mind is freed from gravity so can fully relax. As a result, the brain does not need to send out any commands to the body so activity in the logical side of the brain synchronises with the creative hemisphere.
Everyone has a unique perspective on the benefits of the Float room, so focus on the aspects of floating that are a positive influence on you. Maybe your mind would benefit from a declutter too.
Written by Fiona Ross, co-owner of Urban Wellness Hub and Float.