Freedom from unwanted habitsThe float environment puts the power to reprogram unwanted behaviours in your hands
Floating can be useful in tackling compulsive behaviour.
We like to think of ourselves as rational. We like to believe that we observe the world, gather data, and make informed decisions before we act. However, for most of us most of the time, we live as if in a pinball machine. We bounce around from one thing to the next, our actions a response to our environment.
Floating takes you out of the pinball machine, and can help you recognise that you have a choice.
Through regular floating you can insert a pause between the stimulus and the habitual response, giving you an opportunity to act from somewhere authentic.
Another way of thinking about our habitual behaviours is to see them as robotic. We respond to each stimulus based on our habits, much like a robot responding to inputs based on its programming.
We have all experienced this. For example when driving a familiar route, and suddenly realising you have no recollection of the journey. You have been on autopilot.
The majority of our actions are of this nature, so they are not really our actions at all, just reactions…. habitual ‘tape-loops’ triggered by stimuli in our environment.
So where are ‘you’, when ‘you’ are just responding to the the world habitually?
Addictive behaviours are the epitome of this. We might tell ourselves over and over again that we’re going to stop smoking, or change our diet, or cut down on alcohol, but the momentum of our habits is perpetuated by the environmental triggers, and so the robot remains in the driving seat.
By removing yourself from environmental stimuli, you get out of the pinball machine, and all that is left is you. You get a respite from the triggers of habitual behaviours, and an opportunity for pure self-awareness.
Here you are.
Floating facilitates an encounter with the self. This can provide the opportunity for insight into the motivations for destructive behaviours, and the chance to begin to deal with them.
Floating provides deep relaxation and activates the parasympathetic response. This can ease feelings of withdrawal, and reduce the power of environmental stimuli to trigger a stress response.
Many people report a greater sense of mental clarity, enabling them to see their lives and and their goals more clearly. The individual is empowered to see things as they are and can make changes in light of this.
Some interesting research has been conducted into floating (otherwise known as Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy) and smoking cessation.
Some people with eating disorders have found benefits from floatation.
Others regularly using medication to manage chronic pain have found they no longer rely upon the drug.
Other research suggests floating to be a promising treatment for addictions.
The pleasure of floating can help as a substitute for the reward of addictive behaviours such as smoking tobacco or drinking alcohol. There are many stories of the urge for a substance or behaviour gradually subsiding with regular floating. Floating is not only pleasurable, but it also has a range of physical and mental benefits!
For those with a commitment to overcoming a destructive behaviour, floating can be a powerful tool in supporting their process of change.