Why I Float

By Michelle M.

I’ve been practicing floating for about a year and a half now.  Like many others, it took me a while to get comfortable with the idea of floating in the dark by myself for ninety minutes, but decided to give it a whirl in January 2016.   My first float was gorgeously relaxing, but my second float and each float thereafter, is where floating has really improved my life and how I live it.

Stress + Anxiety

I had been working super hard since leaving university to fit into the corporate world and pave my way into “adulthood” and “making money”.  I’m sure this is a story that many can relate to – but I felt unfulfilled in my profession, going through massive layoffs at work, increased workload and entering my 30’s, the stress of a full time job, mortgage, and all the other stuff that comes with “adulting”…I was what felt like (for lack of a better word…) a wee bit of a wreck.  I felt overwhelmed by always being “connected” and available.  Constantly carting around two iPhones…one for work, one for personal…beep…beep…bloop…bloop notification after notification which left no time to relax or unplug.  I wasn’t taking care of myself, was gaining weight and felt exhausted.    This lead myself and my partner try and discover new ways to relax & unwind…enter the float tank.

The Feeling of Floating

The first thing that happened for me was the quiet, welcoming environment of the float tanks allowed me to enter a different state of being:  Nothingness.  A feeling of ease and lightness that I associate with past times in my life where I had no perceived “accountability”, “stresses” or “expectations” of myself – e.g. backpacking and traveling and meeting new people, or simply playing as a kid.  In the darkness and silence, I am able to just “BE”.  Its a feeling that I find difficult to describe, but in this state of being I’m able to get into a really great flow, and feel like I can really focus and reflect on issues and challenges in my life.  In my second float, I just started to cry for no reason.  I’ve spent the last decade trying to learn how to NOT cry…not to cry in movies, not to cry at work, not to cry when something upsets me, just general feeling suppression – it just exploded out of me in that tank.  That feeling of release and of serenity afterwards was truly unique.  Now I’m floating about once per week (sometimes more) at HÄLSA.  Each float is unique, but the time I’ve spent in the tank has made me realize how important it is for me to take care of myself, to listen to my intuition and take time to discover who I am instead of constantly pushing forward without conscious reflection.  

This practice has allowed me to review my challenges in a new way and to see things subjectively rather than constantly being worried about the outcome.  It’s opened doors to my self care that I never thought I would see open – coaching, increased physical activity, focus on nutrition and drinking less coffee and alcohol, enjoying time in nature and appreciating silence…I could go on! But the main thing is that floating is teaching me how to be my own best friend, and that is pretty cool.