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How floating helps meditation

There’s been an enormous amount written about meditation, mindfulness, and their ability to help people cope with stress – particularly in these times wherein Covid-19 has placed a large amount of stress on so may people, disrupting sleep, and making relaxation harder to achieve.

Whilst the benefits of mindfulness meditation can be amazing, many of us struggle to establish a strong meditation practice.

Float therapy can offer an easier way to achieve deep mindfulness-based stress reduction, for even the new meditator.

What happens when we meditate?

Having been around for thousands of years, there are many different forms of meditative technique.

Ultimately many follow a similar aim, to better control emotion, compassion, breathing, and the brain, to lead to inner calm.

The calming and focusing of the mind, a relaxation response to a meditation or mindfulness practice, seems to link to real physical changes that have been recorded in the brain.

There is a decrease in beta waves, frontal cortex activity reduces, as does activity in the parietal lobe, thalamus, and reticular formation. Each of these areas is involved in processing your senses, emotions, or responding to stimuli.

In today’s overstimulated world, slowing these down probably allows more energy to be diverted to natural healing processes, and suggests the body as a whole is managing to spend time away from the sympathetic nervous state, so your para-sympathetic nervous system is able to achieve recovery from chronic stress. The reduction of the stress hormone cortisol, in itself, can lead to a reduction in chronic pain, negative thoughts, and a clarity of thinking which can be impossible if you’re experiencing brain fog or physical pain.

Why do some people struggle with regular meditation?

Meditation is sometimes challenging for beginners. It might be that organizing a daily practice is hard, or even that the anxiety you’re trying to reduce might make it hard to focus enough to meditate. City-living is rife with noise, distractions, and constant stressors.

It’s no coincidence that many of the most revered figures in meditation sought isolation to help heighten awareness or inner calm. A quick search for Buddhist meditation tells us that a calm, peaceful environment helps to meditate successfully, no matter what level your meditation technique has reached.

If we look at Vipassana as a well-known technique focused on self-awareness to improve well-being, the degree of focus required to reach deeper levels can be hard unless you’re an expert, whilst living in the noise & bustle of London.

How does floating help mindfulness?

Whilst it’s not always convenient to travel to a remote monastery in the Himalayas, float therapy can provide a massively pared-back sensory environment.

In a modern float tank, you are cocooned in an environment set to body temperature, free from pressures of gravity, and without sight or sound to distract you from your thoughts.

It’s normal to hear your own heartbeat and experience such bodily sensations that the modern world simply drowns out.

There is even recent research that shows that floating positively impacts the brain, without meditation.

On top of well-proven effects of floating such as a reduction in anxiety, improved focus, better sleep, float therapy actually leads “to altered patterns of resting-state functional connectivity” – put simply it seems to allow an individual’s brain to return to optimal, balanced activity across its whole.

Your deepest meditation session

A powerful representation of how floatation or sensory deprivation therapy helps to deepen a meditative practice can be seen from other research into brainwave states.

Anyone new to meditation will likely have heard of something called ‘Theta state’. It’s a dream-like state in which brainwaves are detectably slower than during ordinary waking hours, and can be sometimes reached by an expert meditator.

Whilst this deep healing state requires a high level of skill in meditating, even beginners to mindfulness have been shown to consistently achieve the Theta state in around 40 minutes of float therapy.

The very absence of external stress or stimuli frees the body and mind up to focus on things other than reacting to the world, and your body puts this abundance of energy to work – which seems why so many physical as well as mental health benefits are experienced, such as reduced blood pressure, easing of pain or anxiety, and even inflammation.

How Float Hub specifically can help with your meditation

There are many reasons people come to float. They’re not all related to meditation, and we try to create the perfect space whether you’re in it for athletic recovery, dealing with anxiety, or simply looking for an incredible way to relax.

If you’ve read this far, I’m going to guess you’re interested in improving your meditation practice, and there are ways we can help.

We’ve developed bespoke guided meditation audio, professionally produced with the backing of binaural beats. Current audio is suitable for those new to a meditation practice, though we plan to expand into more advanced categories.

Can floating help my meditation practice?

In short, the answer is emphatical yes. Whether you’re a beginner who’s struggled with daily meditation, mantra meditation, compassion meditation, or the meditation posture you’ve been instructed to use – or a high level, expert meditator, then floating can provide an environment unlike anything else to allow you to focus on your mind, practice, and to a far greater degree than any meditation app can ever be capable of.

Book yourself in to see for yourself

Float Hub is the UK’s highest-rated float centre on TripAdvisor, with 6 state-of-the-art floatation therapy pods.

If you’d like to discover how float therapy can help expand your mediation practice, you can find availability and book here.