What are the benefits of shutting down the senses? Where does your mind go when you remove all environmental stimuli? How can floating unleash your creativity, imagination and artistic flair?
The world we live in is constantly sending us messages via our senses. We are inundated with information that we must absorb, digest and integrate. The world we live in is a great source of inspiration, particularly to those who are creatively inclined. Whether its painting, writing, singing, drawing, dancing or playing music, we are always seeking ways to explore and enhance our art form. So the idea of withdrawing from all external stimuli and retreating into a float tank for an hour often sparks intrigue and curiosity to artists of all mediums. A long period of nothingness leaves you with only your mind and time to discover what lies within.
Your Brain Waves Explained
When you are awake and moving through your every day life, your brain is functioning in the Beta brain wave state (8 – 12 hz). Your mind is sharp and focused, primed to do work that requires your full attention. This is likely where your brain is at during your orientation of your first float session. The Alpha state (12 – 38 hz) is characterised by relaxed, quiet thought. It is the resting state of the brain when you are still conscious. As you settle into your float, Alpha brainwaves are dominant and you may stay in Alpha throughout your session: awake but relaxed.
The headspace that we are aiming for in the float tank is the Theta state (3 – 8 hz). You are not awake yet not fully asleep. Your senses are withdrawn from the external world and focused on signals originating from within. This state can be quite elusive because as soon as you become aware that you are in Theta, you have become too alert and likely snapped out of it. Alternatively, if you go too deep into your state of relaxation, you risk falling asleep and dropping into Delta (0.5 – 3 hz).
The Theta State
The Theta brainwave state is the realm of your subconsciousness that is only experienced momentarily as you drift off from wake to sleep. Theta is the space where profound visualisation, learning, mind programming and creative power is seated. At this frequency, you are conscious of your surroundings, however your body is in a deep state of relaxation.
In the float tank, the Theta state is more easily achieved because of how physically comfortable your body is in the water. People of find themselves lingering between that state of wakefulness and sleep, completely disoriented to time and space but aware of their body and mind in a very subtle way.
Floating for Creativity
The deep state of relaxation and slower brain-wave patterns you experience during float allows your mind to experience clarity, vivid imagery, creative thought, dream-like states and feelings of serenity and peace. Every float is different depending on a myriad of variables including time of day, state of mind and expectations and the more often you float, the better you get at letting go of control and entering a state of acceptance and observation. If you’re experiencing a mental block, reducing your sensory input may be the perfect conditions to unlock your creative potential and act as a witness to where your mind drifts off to.
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