The Post-Float Experience
First-time floaters often spend a lot of time before their first floatation experience considering what the hour or two in the tank will feel like. They have questions about what they should do to prepare, and what they’ll do or feel while floating. But many, or even most, first-time floaters don’t ask about the post-float experience. After spending time in blissful isolation, letting go of stress and pain, or possibly unlocking new creative ideas, what happens next?
What to Expect: Mentally and Physically
When you leave the float tank, there are many different things you could be feeling. For most clients, the physical sensations are very similar to receiving a massage, or taking a long, restful nap. Your body will feel comfortable, relaxed, and pampered. Many clients feel a release of old aches and pains that they felt before entering the float tank, which can lead to either a feeling of intense relaxation, or a feeling of renewed energy and vigor.
Likewise, your mental state can run the gamut between relaxed and energized. For some clients, the float tank is a deeply relaxing experience that results in a dream-like state of mind, where they can simply meditate or even sleep. For others, the sensory deprivation unlocks a flood of creativity. Suddenly, new ideas and new solutions to old problems seem effortless, and clients will leave the tank in a mental state that is prime for taking action on their goals.
The Experience Doesn’t Stop When You Leave the Tank
Luckily, no matter which mindset or physical sensations you experience after leaving the float tank, you aren’t simply thrust back into the real world and expected to leave it all behind. Taking the relaxation and revitalization that you felt in the tank with you into your life is a crucial benefit of floating. It’s why so many floaters love to come back over and over, just like those who feel the same release from meditation or yoga develop their own habitual practices.
Basking in the Glow
Many clients leave the float tank in a near-trance state, feeling at one with themselves, at peace with their decisions and life, and having settled into a totally non-verbal mindset. It’s not uncommon for words to be jarring, or even meaningless, for a few minutes after leaving the tank. It’s also not uncommon for noises to be a little over stimulating at first.
There are several things you can do once at home to help you get the most benefit from floating. Consider a session of meditation to help guide yourself back out of the very deep sense of relaxation that the float tank guided you into. This practice helps you regain the awareness of your body and of the world that the tank allowed you to step away from for a time.
Another great thing to do is to stretch, or take a walk outside. Getting your body moving in a gentle way is another good way to bring awareness back to the mind, and when your senses are refreshed and ready to truly realize the sights, sounds, smells, and textures of the outdoor world, you’ll be amazed at how beautiful your neighborhood or walking trail truly is.
Putting Your New Creativity to Work
Alternatively, some clients come out of the float tank feeling as though they can take on the world. Their minds were totally opened to new ideas, new solutions, or a fresh wave of creativity, while floating. When they leave the tank, their bodies are filled with energy, and their minds are in that perfect state to be focused and creative simultaneously.
If you are this type of floater, or you’re heading into your first floating experience and want to be prepared for after, it could be a fantastic idea to bring along a sketchbook, a notepad, your camera, or your other art medium of choice, to immediately take advantage of the creative energy that you feel after leaving the tank. If your art medium is too large to bring with you (maybe you’re a painter, or a pianist) then schedule a block of time to be in your studio or home for some amazing results.
Art of any kind is known to be therapeutic, which means it goes hand-in-hand with floating. But your creative energy may be focused on something other than art, and that’s okay too. Set aside some time after floating to brainstorm new business ideas if that’s where your passion lies. Anything that allows you to stay in the flow you achieved while floating, and that keeps you busy in the act of creating (rather than consuming new stimuli) is an excellent idea for prolonging the benefits of the float tank.
It Comes Down to Your Preferences
At the end of the day, it always boils down to what makes you the most comfortable. Your post-float experience can be anything you want it to be. If you are a religious person, and the float tank made you feel connected to your deity or spiritual path, a session of prayer and worship could be a lovely way to extend the experience. Whether you choose to meditate, take a walk, join friends for a quite cup of tea and relaxed conversation, paint a new picture, or just get a great night of sleep – the question of what comes after the floating experience is ultimately answered by you.