I’m not going to lie, I let Monday get the better of me. I let it be one of those days that every tiny little mishap turned into a raging battle where every thought, doubt, and insecurity rose in victory. As I drove home from work that night, I questioned why I let such miniscule issues dictate my day, my attitude, my being. Stress, anxiety, worry started to build back up, making me realize I needed to check myself.
Part of my journey is to experience new things, without hesitation and reservation. So that is exactly what I did. Without hesitation, I went online and signed up for a float session at A Place to Float in downtown Indy. To some floating in a pod—literally an individual pod where you feel like you are stepping into a Sci-fi movie or episode of the Twilight Zone—of Epsom salt for about an hour does not sound appealing or enjoyable. Friends, that hour was the most relaxed I have been in a while. That hour I became more in tune with the physical effects my mindset had on my body. That hour forced me to take deep breaths. That hour was glorious.
Benefits of floating: You absorb the magnesium (which you are probably deficient of) and the mineral levels in your body rise. For someone with a thyroid condition like me, my body definitely needs to absorb that. Your thyroid loves it some magnesium. You relax which causes reduction of stress which causes cortisol levels to lower. Endorphins (the feel happy hormones) are released during floating sessions and continue to last. Pain relief can occur, inflammation reduced, digestion aided, muscle aches and strains alleviated, sleeping problems assisted. Essentially floating is extremely beneficial, and I plan on incorporating it into my lifestyle to further aid my fit, my healthy, my happy.
As I drove into work, I reflected on my float. Reflection is vital. So often we move from one thing to the next that we don’t take time to examine that experience. Without examination there can’t be any growth or change. I made sure to really focus on the experience and what it did for me that day. As a result, I realized how great this experience is for me, personally.
What I learned from my floating experience
I am capable of more than I think I am and finding moments to remind myself of this is important to living a fit, healthy, happy life.
- Floating gave me the opportunity to try something new. To actually force myself to relax, to breath, to surrender my body. I went into the pod not expecting to gain much from the experience. I was a little skeptical, a little hesitant, but I still tried to keep an open mind. I didn’t think it was possible for me to be able to relax, free my mind, and rejuvenate in that environment. You leave me alone with my head in the dark tends to lead to the opposite result: the negative thoughts swarming around, consuming every empty space possible. I surprised myself in the pod because this was not the case. The moment my head sunk into that water, all the negative thoughts were pushed away. I became so in tune with my body in that moment, that when the negative thought or painful thought began to creep back in, an appendage would jerk, causing me to re-center my mind to focus on my breathing, my relaxation, my positive energy. My body was telling me not to let that force in. Making the time for that hour in my morning before work helped remind me of the lifestyle I want to lead: a life where I choose wellness over a life with afflictions and adversity. Making the time for that hour in my morning showed I am capable of creating that life for myself.
Emotional stress takes a toll on your body physically, and in order to thrive, taking time to reenergize both emotionally and physically is necessary.
- In the past couple weeks, I’ve woken up in excruciating pain in my jaw. I can’t remember the dreams I had, but apparently they were horrific enough to cause me to clench and grind so much that it left me physically in pain. I’ve woken up every day for the past week with a pain in my neck and sensitive shoulders. I had reached a point where my emotional state was now controlling my physical body. This is what emotional stress does to our bodies. Emotional stress manifests in the physical body and not making time to take care of that emotional stress will only lead to deprivation, not a thriving life. You must take time to reenergize emotionally so you don’t weaken yourself physically. Giving yourself pep talks, telling yourself “I’m tough, I got this”, “I just need to get through this week then I can rest”, “I can handle this. I’m okay, always am.” isn’t always going to readjust your life. Yes, mindset is important and can work wonders on you physically, but just telling yourself those things and actually doing something about it are different. We tell ourselves those positive affirmations, and we get ourselves in that right mindset, but we refuse to make the time to actually do what we need to do in order to maintain that thriving mindset. Floating gave me that opportunity. The opportunity to do what I need to do to maximize that mindset. As I rested in that pod, listening to my own heartbeat and how it changed with different thoughts–which, side note that was a weird, yet interesting experience. To actually hear the change in my heart as something positive or negative came into my head. okay, end side note–As I took deep and long breaths, I could feel the tension escape my neck and shoulders. As I released my emotional baggage, I released the physical pain. Although the physical stress on my body wasn’t completely eradicated, it lessened, allowing me to release emotionally. I tend to hold onto a lot of emotional tension in my life. I can’t seem to let it go, which takes a toll on my body physically. Unfortunately, most of the time emotional stress is a slow adversary, and we tend not to realize its destruction on our body until we see the physical symptom and repercussion of it. Make time to refuel emotionally, it’s the only way to thrive free of pain.
When you release control of a thought, situation, or distraction, you become more in tune with what you really need
I don’t like letting go. I don’t like giving up control. Giving up control to me meant I lost or I failed or I wasn’t strong enough. But most of the time the things I wanted to control were the things that weren’t going to help me live my healthiest and happiest life. Have you ever noticed that? Most of the time what we want to control tends to be the negative forces in our lives. It is the situations, the people, the lifestyle that weighs us down, keeping us from our true potential, yet we still choose to try and hold control over it. We still grasp onto gaining back control in our moments of weakness. Why? Letting go of that control isn’t failing or giving up. Letting go of that control is allowing space free of those thoughts, situations, distractions, people, etc. It provides space for your true potential for opportunities and for people that allow you to thrive instead to come into your life. Floating in that pod forced me to let go of control. I could have tensed up, held my neck up, scrunched my shoulders up in order to stay further afloat, or I could choose to let go of the control. Let my body float how it wanted to rest, let my neck fall back, heavy into the water, and let the water support me instead. Turns out letting go of that control, releasing the control of my own body, led me to see what my body needed in that moment: true relaxation, freedom from the physical stress I had put on it from clinging so tightly to things I shouldn’t. My body needed to release control which made me realize what I need to release my control of in other areas of life. I thought letting go of control in that pod would have been dang near impossible. Our instinct is to keep ourselves afloat, making ourselves believe we have to hold onto our sense of control against the water. Turns out letting go of control is a lot easier than we think, we just have to be willing to experience true freedom. Seeking control keeps us bound to something else. Making the time to become more in tune with what you need, finding ways to release control is only going to help you embrace the journey.
When you make the time to center yourself in the morning, your day will be significantly better
I have to confess, I have slacked on my morning routine lately. I haven’t taken the time to write out my daily goals, write myself affirmations, drink my lemon water, journal like I had been. As a result, my days have been chaotic, stressed, aggravating, not fulfilling. Making that time to go float helped center me. Helped me refuel. As a result, my attitude and day went swimmingly (…😊). It’s the holiday season which means everyone is saying things like, “It’s the stress of the season”, “Looks like I’ll just have to deal with the stress of the holidays”, “My diet is going to suffer this month”, “I hate this season, it’s so stressful”. Friend, it doesn’t have to be. You have the power to change that. You can choose to not live with that stress. You can choose to find the time for yourself in the morning to minimize that stress you are worried will creep back up during the day. I work retail as a part-time job. I understand the stress of the season. I could choose to let the stress of angry customers, the stress of busy hours, the stress of long days, the stress of feeling the need to accommodate everyone but myself get the better of me. Or I can choose to make the time in the morning to center myself, prepare myself for the day and not let stress win. That is what floating on Tuesday did for me. I cleared my mind before the day started, I relaxed my entire being—soul, mind, and physical, and I had a great day as a result. It’s okay to take time for yourself in the morning so you can fuel others.
Floating might not be for everybody, but if you haven’t tried it, what do you have to lose? And if it isn’t floating, find something to do this week at least once, that allows you to refresh you. “I don’t have time” is an excuse. If I’ve learned anything over the past few months it is that if you prioritize your time, you will be able to make the time. Let go of the control and thrive in your potential.