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Why I float: Ben Harris

Starting with one spontaneous float back at London Bridge, Ben shares how floating has helped him become a more open person – willing to open himself to others, and welcome others to him.

It started with Joe Rogan

I had heard about floating through the comedian Joe Rogan, like most guys my age, it was something I wanted to do back when Floatworks was at London Bridge. I wasn’t living in London at the time, but I was visiting a friend, and I think we went to Fabric or something, and came home at 8 or 9 the next morning. Everyone was, you know, ‘feeling it’ the next day, and on a whim I called up Floatworks to see if it could, err, alleviate my hangover… Sure enough, I ended up spending an hour in the pod that day.

I can’t really remember it – I probably just fell asleep and almost went into a limbo-like state, but I remember coming out feeling like an absolute spring chicken!

At the time I was at uni and I didn’t have much disposable income – but I was still of the mentality that I would like to float regularly. I remember when I did my first float, I was speaking to a girl that worked at the London Bridge centre, and I asked her if she got a discount. She told me she floated for free, and I thought that was awesome.

I did a bit of research, found out who the manager was, and I did a bit of stalking, and found his conference talks on YouTube from the annual floating conference. So I emailed him, said I was in filming, and I would be happy, if possible, to do some sort of service exchange, where I could make him a promotional video in return for a couple of free floats.

He liked that email, I went for a chat with him, and we ended talking for about three hours, just because we had so much in common and mutual interests. At the end of the conversation – this was while they were temporarily trading in Canary Wharf – he said, “Look, all our finances are invested in this place at the moment, so we can’t really invest in promotional videos, but we do need a receptionist if you’re interested?” I thought, why not? And that’s how I became a part of the Floatworks family.

How floating changes you

To this day, I meet a lot of people after they float, and something one of our floaters said really stuck with me. He said it was like getting a massage for your brain. And it’s true; it does just seem to gently, subconsciously rub out all the knots, or trivialities, or distractions you have going on, so when you emerge, you’re just a lot more grounded. There’s a lot of anecdotal stuff online with people talking about their vast range of experiences, some a bit more wild and some more simplistic, and personally I’m more on the latter side.

Without fail, I always emerge from the tank a bit happier than when I went in. Whether that’s because I’ve relaxed my body, or I’ve stopped over-analysing things; more often than not it puts me into a space where I’m less self-absorbed and more self-aware.

I find that the times I spend in the Chill Out room after a float, the conversations I have with people seem to have a quality, sincerity and authenticity which you don’t usually get when you speak to strangers. Usually when speaking to strangers you’re quite guarded. I think we can be quite frugal with our energy, and we’re maybe not willing to invest our interest and real emotional time into people we think we’ll never see again. Whereas after I float, I’m so willing to pour my heart out and have people do the same to me. It’s a real gift being able to do that. There’s a quote that I love – I forget who it’s by – but it goes: “I’d rather be right than wrong, but I’d rather be happy than right.”

How floating has changed me

I’m definitely a much more open person through floating, less judging of myself and others, and more willing to treat everyone as my best friend!

In terms of long-term effects – I get asked this quite a lot by people – and what I say is it’s difficult to isolate floatation, purely because there’s a whole bunch of things I’m trying to implement in my life since I started floating.

I’m trying eat better, exercise more, read more, think more positively – and floating has become an integral part of a larger jigsaw puzzle that I’m trying to apply to my own life. But on a specific level after a float, I am just categorically, 100 percent a better person.

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08 September 2021

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