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Why I float: Tiago Santos

Tiago has consciously developed his floating practice over time. Floating is now a routine and ritual he uses to maintain a sense of calm and continue evolving as a person.

I didn’t know about floating until I started working at Floatworks

Strangely enough, I didn’t hear about floating until I started working at Floatworks. I’ve always been into mindfulness and spirituality, but started having a deeper look into it earlier this year. I was reading and studying a lot about the law of attraction, and was kinda looking out for something life-changing.

So I started exploring a few different types of job, something that had no link to anything I’d done in the past. A Floatworks ad totally caught my eye and, when I researched it, I found the whole concept of floating fascinating.

I applied for the job – and got it – and that’s what got me into it, everything happened naturally, and I’ve never looked back.

Expectations vs reality

I had lots of expectations before I had my first float. I knew that the concept made a lot of sense to me – it seemed interesting – but at the same time, I hadn’t tried it.

In the first ten minutes, everything went wrong. I got salt water in my eyes. I forgot to put the earplugs in. I was overly anxious and excited, and it was hard to relax. But somehow, after that first bit of chaos, everything flew by quite easily. I think my openness to it, and my willingness, helped to overcome those first daunting feelings.

Because I was almost prepared for things to go wrong, I didn’t feel that it disappointed my expectations. Interestingly, it was the second float that really hit the mark. That’s when I was like: “Yes, this is powerful, this makes sense to me, it’s empowering”.

Short term wins: mental and physical relaxation

An immediate short-term benefit that started right away was diminishing anxiety. I think when you’re a notable perfectionist and you make demands and expectations on yourself, it can easily build up as anxiety within you. And living with anxiety can be tricky; it definitely takes some time to get to the point where you know how to deal with it.

Something that I picked up from floating straight away, is that the moment I’m in the pod, I open a little door inside myself and all of those feelings come out. There’s also definitely a physically relaxing side to it too, you feel straight away. It’s like rebooting your whole system. That’s especially good if you exercise, and when you experience muscle tension and stress. As soon as I’m out of the pod I feel like I’ve just released everything I was holding back.

Every float is different

It took me about two or three months before I really started to feel the long-term benefits. The first month or two, every float was intense. I knew that I was having more insights and powerful experiences than ever before, but at some point that turned into frustration.

After a while, it wasn’t every time that I would go that deep within myself, which, at the time, felt like a concern. I’d ask myself, “Why am I not taking the most out of it?” But actually, I already had. Although during the first months I had all of these amazing experiences, it turned into me overtly trying to sustain that state-of-mind during each float. Eventually it got to the point where I fully accepted every experience I had in the pod for what it was, even when I didn’t go deeper.

Sometimes I go in and it’s more about the physical benefits of muscle recovery, and I won’t go as deep emotionally. Other times it’s a psychological float that relaxes my mind, instead of my body. Long-term positives: stability and calm

In the long-term, floating has really helped to keep me stable. And really seems to put things into perspective. After a week without floating, I crave it, I need it.

It also gives me a more realistic view of myself, helps to keep me centred, and allows me to really focus on my integrity. With the added calm, I can build a healthy balance and chilled atmosphere around me, so I know how to deal with situations, and handle things in a more effective way. Even if something bad happens, I know how to keep myself centred.

Routines and rituals

I find my floats are more productive when I set a routine and agenda for each session, rather than just jumping into the pod like, “Okay, let’s do this!” Most importantly, I switch my phone off and keep it outside the room. Back when I was a beginner, I realised that if I left my phone in the room, for some reason, even if it was on silent, I just felt the connection to it, which could be very distracting.

If I don’t float for a while, I definitely notice the difference. When you get used to it, that precious hour becomes a critical part of your wellbeing. So there’s something to be said for regularity. It’s like exercise: if you just do it willy nilly, what’s the benefit you’re going to get from it? None. But if you do it routinely, even if it’s once or twice a week, you’ll start seeing the results.

A big change

Floating came along with a lot of changes in my life, both practically and emotionally. It has taught me how to be a lot calmer, and taught me how to grow up. Life should be about constant evolution. It taught me how to get rid of the little things I didn’t like about myself – like anxiety about money, or my life goals, or professional acuity. It taught me to be more accepting of the present moment rather than looking towards the future. If you live in the past, that creates depression. If you live in the future, that creates anxiety. However, if you live in the present, that’s what brings you to your most optimal state of wellbeing.

Live in the present moment.

Be conscious of where you’re going, but live in the moment. And be grateful, because gratitude is the secret for happiness.

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