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Letting Go...

Letting Go: Deep Relaxation and Beyond

Written by Anton 10.02.2016

If you’re new to floating or find it hard to unwind, then you might be awfully familiar with the perception of ‘mind speak’ whilst attempting to relax. A regular battler – even with the physical and mental exhaustion I feel after a day’s work – I often struggle to completely rest at night, battling with unnecessary thoughts about my never-ending to-do list, or work issues better addressed during business hours.

I figured I couldn’t be the only one though, so when I conducted further research into the matter I was somewhat pleased to note that this is quite a common occurrence; and one that can even plague us during our hour-long floatation sessions.

Though we are well aware by now that floating can have immense benefits of relaxation and mental, physical and spiritual healing, I want to highlight how we can reap even greater rewards during an hour long session – practicing effortlessness.

During floating our bodies become more relaxed than is possible during everyday life, but only will we reach our utmost meditative potential if we fully let go of all the thoughts plaguing us – including our thoughts and efforts to relax. Otherwise known as the The Law of Reversed Effort, the theory being that whatever you “try” to do, the result will be just the opposite. Arguably one of the hardest concepts to grasp, letting go of all our thoughts and efforts requires great attention and training.

Years of brain research indicates that everything we ever experience is stored in the brain and can be instantly recalled – if we know the right signal. Once a state of deep relaxation is achieved in the floatation tank, the brain uses this as its own signal of safety, peace and relaxation and has the power to suddenly switch from tension and stress to deep rest and recovery. If practiced regularly and easily maintained then the state can be readily repeated in other places, allowing the body to reach peace and relaxation almost upon demand (Read more here: Science Behind the Magic in Isolation Tank).

If you’re new to floating then by all means the best approach to take is none at all. Don’t enter in with pre-expectations of the outcome; enjoy the moment and allow your subconscious control your body’s response. On the other hand, if you’re conscious about getting the most out of your float, then here are few ways to let go of everything, including effort.

  • Breath awareness: the concentration of breathing in and out of the nose and deep into the stomach has a strong power to relax the mind and focus on the present
  • Moving around the body: Breathe deeply, and when you exhale, direct your deep exhalation and the feeling of “letting go” around the body to assist with full body relaxation
  • Practicing visualisation: Daydream – think up scenarios in your mind and embrace the ability to manipulate your own images. This can happen through several different aspects:
    • Body imagery: Combining visualisation and breathing throughout the body, this assists with relaxation through the full focus on each area of the body
    • Visualisation of light: Visualising light, particularly white or golden light, often symbolizes oxygen and life and can assist with feelings of lightness, positivity and energy
    • Moving light around the body: Focusing on one part of the body at a time
    • In the mind’s eye: Strengthen your control of imagery by combining past experiences and familiar situations, then by suddenly changing them up and introducing an unfamiliar or abnormal aspect – a person, animal, colour, location etc. This often reveals to yourself exactly what’s on your mind, and can be used for self-healing, confidence and growth.
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