Many people with anxiety disorders intentionally avoid floatation therapy. In general, they’re afraid that being in the dark space and/or being alone will cause them undue stress. In truth, these people are well suited to time in a floatation tank.
Why Floatation Helps Anxiety Disorders
An anxious brain is the result of a chemical imbalance. Most people need medication to combat the symptoms, but stepping into a full tank could be the first step to rebooting your brain. Spending time feeling weightless and without excessive stimulation can help your mind slow down and work better with itself. As the stressors and outside factors go away, there’s a chance for regeneration.
When you’re in a float tank, your brain slows down dramatically. Stimuli no longer bombard you, which means your brain returns to a more restful state. In fact, it acts the same as it would during deep meditation (which is appropriate, as many people consider floating a form of meditation). It may begin releasing theta waves to push away the tension within your mind and body. Reaching this point is powerful and can result in greatly lowered anxiety levels.
As it reduces stress, floatation therapy also helps improve one’s mood. The atmosphere and lessened tension encourage the brain to produce endorphins. These hormones naturally regulate your mood and can even relieve pain. You experience endorphins when doing something pleasurable, like eating your favorite food or cuddling with a significant other. People with anxiety disorders often struggle to maintain endorphin levels, so spending time in a float tank can help them find a more natural balance.
Floatation as Cognitive Therapy
The last thing that an anxious person wants to do is to climb inside a dark tank and close the door. This is especially true in cases of fear disorders, such as claustrophobia and cleithrophobia (fear of being trapped). However, facing your fears is an extremely effective way of conquering anxiety. This is called cognitive therapy.
Cognitive therapy refers to a program where someone is gradually exposed to his or her fears in a safe and controlled manner. This allows that person to acclimate to the situation over time and learn that the scary situation isn’t necessarily bad. Pushing through the nervousness to enter a float tank will help with immediate anxiety issues and can rewire the brain to be less anxious in general.
If you’re an anxiety suffer interested in trying out floatation therapy, visit Northwest Float Center. We’ll walk you through the premises to familiarize you with the layout and reduce any stress. Plus, you’re in complete control of your session; you can leave the tank immediately if you feel uncomfortable. If you can let go of your fears long enough to begin relaxing, however, you’ll want to come back for more.