No effort is needed in order to receive the benefits of floating. In fact, it is recommended that your first few times floating you simply allow yourself to drift away and experience deep relaxation. However, as you become more acclimated to the feeling of floating, there are some additional techniques and tools that you can use to enhance the benefits of your experience if you choose. Everyone is different, see what works for you.
The overall benefit of floating happens easily and without any specific effort. However, as you become more acclimated to floating, there are several techniques that can be used effectively to enhance specific benefits you might desire.
Focus on breath & body awareness can help you to let go and reach deeper levels of relaxation. Just focusing on your breathing can help to quiet the mind and bring the consciousness to a place of stillness.
You can also focus on your body, focusing on each and every part as you consciously relax each area moving from head to toe can release tension and let your whole body relax.
Self-Hypnosis and Suggestion
Hypnosis is often thought of as a special state that takes a practitioner to induce. In fact, often in our lives we are in a light hypnotic state - the combination of relaxation and focused attention. Perhaps while listening to music, or watching TV, or engaged in a focused activity. Research shows that this state is beneficial in itself but what really makes it a powerful tool is to use it with the power of suggestion.
Floating and using suggestion is a highly effective way to lessen pain, access memories, make body changes, eliminate unwanted habits, and heal more rapidly and to reinforce more positive attitudes and beliefs.
Follow these general principles for whatever your desired application is:
- Repeat: Repetition of your suggestion and perhaps even using variations on words used and images will increase its effectiveness.
- Use present tense: The unconscious is very literal. Use words such as "I am" rather than "I will" which implies the future rather than it being true NOW.
- Use Positive Statements: Research shows that the brain responds more favorably to positive statements such as "I am healthy and my ideal weight" rather than "I am not overweight". The negative statement puts the emphasis on the thought "overweight" rather than the desired outcome of "ideal weight".
- Be specific: Focus on specific outcomes rather than general attitudes. "I am closing the Smith account" rather than "I am a good salesperson".
Mental images are a powerful tool which is enhanced when brain waves deepen to the Theta state, common during floating and meditation. The trick with visualizing is to find what works for you, be playful and creative. Perhaps try over the top theatrical exaggeration, or slow-motion detailed play by play images. Try invoking realism - smells, sounds, etc. One technique that has been effective is to be the director of your own movie. See yourself performing from all angles, replay important parts, and see yourself in the lead. What does it feel like to accomplish your goal? Research suggests that visual images that are held in the mind firmly enough can be accepted by the mind as actually memories with the same benefits.
While a single float is beneficial, those that float more frequently and as an overall part of their wellness program find increasing health benefits that are sustained over time. It also becomes more common to have experiences of profound well-being and consciousness expansion similar to those associated with the long term results of meditation.