A Present Valentine: The Best Valentine's Present!
“I’m sorry, what was that? I was distracted.”
A phrase you hear all too often these days. In reality, it’s more an indication that the world we live in is extremely distracting than a sign of personal failure. Most of this is accidental, but some of it is designed deliberately by businesses, governments, and individuals to grab our attention and hold it for as long as possible.
As human beings, we take a toll from this sensory assault, and being distracted is symptomatic of the much larger problem of endemic stress and anxiety that effects so much of society. This is why meditation, mindfulness, and floating are more popular now than ever before. Floatation Therapy allows our bodies and minds to relax, recover, and reset by escaping distractions for a time.
And the post-float magic is real! The world often seems more vivid upon exiting the float tank. Colors appear more vibrant and the air smells nicer after a fresh rain, and good food tastes even better. The heightened awareness of your surroundings extends beyond your normal senses; many floaters report feeling a sense of connection and empathy with those around them. We've heard many stories about people doing small acts of kindness for strangers after a float. Generally, this is directed towards friends and family, but we've heard plenty of stories about people being kind to strangers, too.
The common saying, which we've all heard a million different ways, is that you must be able to take care of yourself first before being able to take care of others. It's similar to when an oxygen mask drops on a plane during an emergency: you make sure that you're okay before you can be there for those around you. If you've ever floated, you know that many of the most meaningful benefits of floating extend beyond the time spent in the tank, and past simply feeling better.
Because of this, despite the fact that floating is primarily a practice of being completely alone, it can actually be a delightful way to bond with others. It’s very common for friends to come in together so that they can relax and hang out afterwards. For couples, floating can be a perfect way to start off a romantic weekend, or even just a casual date night. Letting go of the daily stresses and processing the thoughts that are always racing through your mind, is a wonderful way to free up your awareness and attention for what is right in front of you (and for people who matter to you).
In your post-float relaxation and more present state, you will also notice a greater sense of openness and joy. People may refer to it as being in a flow state, where conversations and interactions seem to flow effortlessly. During this time, issues or mishaps become laughable and insignificant, and things that would normally be distracting pass by completely unnoticed. If you're grabbing lunch or dinner afterwards, the food tastes that much more delicious (an added bonus of the magical feeling you get after a float).
The benefits of floating are not just anecdotal research on floatation has consistently demonstrated that the experience can reduce stress and anxiety and improve feelings of serenity. Additionally, multiple studies have shown that creativity increases post-float, which could be contributing to the enjoyment of time with others following a float. Many float participants report being more present and aware during the experience, and some pilot studies have shown that participants with ADHD report improvements in attention and quality of life.
Because our brains are hardwired to be alert for threats in the environment, our modern world, which is filled with loud noises, flashing lights, screens, and throngs of people, many of us feel on edge pretty much 24/7. With so much mental chatter going on at all times, it’s no surprise that it's hard to focus on the person right across the table from you.
No matter how you do it, it is super important to learn how to tune out the constant distractions that surround us (both the ones coming from the outside world, and the ones in your own mind). And while we are biased, we absolutely believe floating is the ideal tool to help with this, and whether you come in alone, with friends, or with a romantic partner, we are sure that distractions will recede as your attention reignites.