Sensory Deprivation Floats: The Best Way to Overcome “Monkey Mind”
I wanted to write about my first float tank experience. A friend recommended I give floating a shot, and my preconceived fears were that I would be claustrophobic, panic, or be forced to feel something I might not be ready to explore. So I’m not going to lie, I was afraid. I’m always reminding myself, “I must do the things I fear,” and so I scheduled an appointment.
What is a Float Tank?
A float tank is a sensory deprivation. You float in a high-salt water concentrated pool set at your body temp. So your body floats, and it feels as if you are weightless. All the sensations that can stimulate and distract you are taken away. This environment allows for a deeper meditative state and some serenity. Floating is supposed to boost creativity and help you gain a deeper understanding of yourself and what next steps might be best for you. We all hold answers within us, but sometimes the world is too noisy to hear them.
Sensory Deprivation is Just That!
There is no light, no sound, no touch. None of the senses have to work or “process” anything, and you are left with your thoughts. Which, for some, can be scary. It’s especially scary if you have a lot of built-up feelings that you have not yet worked through or processed. Just like with fasting, when your body doesn’t have to digest food, your body can focus its energy on healing. With sensory deprivation, you are not focused on touch, sounds, social media noise, etc. Therefore, emotional healing can take place. This place of healing can be magical.
But—It Didn’t Start So Magical
I heard your first float can be scary. It may feel weird to have no sensory input, especially in such a busy world with constant noise and stimulation. The water temperature in a float is so precisely set, that you can’t even feel the sense of touch. I worried that with sensory deprivation I would feel trapped-and I have a fear of drowning, so I worried about how deep it would be. When I first stepped into the float tank, I had an ominous feeling overcome me, and that was my fear of the unexpected. However, I was able to relax and feel at peace in the environment eventually. Especially when I realized it wasn’t an abyss of deep dark water.
It was strange at first-to to be laying there with nothing but my thoughts. At first, my thoughts were racey—all the things I had to do. Good ole monkey mind. But then (following the advice of a friend), I focused on letting my thoughts come and go, and I just allowed myself to be still. Eventually, I felt “okay” enough to turn out the small light and lay in darkness. In total darkness. As time went on, I was able to sink deeper into a state of relaxation and slowly was able to feel safe and comfortable in this new environment. I even drifted in and out of light sleep.
Sensory Deprivation and Consciousness
Without outside noise, we can get closer to our consciousness—or higher self…or God—or with whatever you choose to associate. We can more easily connect with something greater than ourselves and feel a greater sense of “oneness.” We can flow. The sensation of weightlessness is freeing. That feeling like a weight is lifted off your shoulders. This weightlessness is what I found the most pleasurable. I took the time to recognize each part of my body and offered each element a little love—from my toes to my crown. This body awareness is something often suggested to do when settling into meditation. The float tank makes it easier because you don’t have to worry about any awkward, uncomfortable positions, outside noises, and sensations. The environment makes it easier to follow your intuition and make more lucid decisions. In a culture of endless choices and distractions, it can be challenging to make choices that are in the best interest of yourself.
The Days After
Several days after my initial float, I was more relaxed and clear in my mind. I also noted deeper sleep, vivid dreams, dream recall, and clarity. Overall, it was worth the hour, and I plan to go back on a more regular basis. If you are someone who struggles with meditation in the traditional sense, try sensory deprivation out! It won’t disappoint!
My Favorite Relaxation Product (That Can Bring Your Meditation to the Next Level):
Kava-Plex (affiliate link)
Kava is great at supporting:
- A calm, positive mood
- Prolonged deep sleep and REM cycles
- A reduction in brain inflammation that supports healthy brain health and sleep cycles long term.
- Anxiety relief
Common Misconceptions Surrounding Kava:
When searching kava, you may find health warnings and misinformation claiming that kava is bad for your liver. According to Kava Plex site: “The origin of these claims is research that was done over 15 years ago in Switzerland and Germany that led to kava drinking being banned in those countries. This ban was reversed in 2015 after a growing body of new research has called into question these early research findings. This research has showed that cases of liver toxicity attributed to kava actually occurred only when the person consumed contaminated kava products (above ground aerial parts of the plant) or Tudei varieties and was also taking other drugs and medications known to negatively effect liver function.”
A recent WHO review of kava mentions:
”Kava has had at least a 1500-year history of safe use, with liver side effects never having arisen in the ethnopharmacological data. Clinical trials of kava have not revealed hepatotoxicty as a problem. This has been confirmed by further studies evaluating the toxicology of kava drink. Based on available scientific information it can be inferred that kava as a traditional beverage is safe for human consumption.”
My favorite brand is Kava Plex-and you can get a discount on it using code: PRIMALBLISS20 (affiliate link)