3 LONG TERM TECHNIQUES TO BOOST FOCUS

 "ADD", "distracted", "focus", "to-do lists", "procrastination". These are just a few of the buzzwords that are thrown around in today's fast-paced society. People want to calm their distracted minds and be able to focus, but with the endless stream of online content, expectations of family and friends pulling at you in all different directions, it makes it all the more easy to be indecisive. More and more books by top businessmen, doctors, and analysts are pointing out the detrimental effects of being too distracted. Books like "The One Thing" by Gary Keller, "Rewire" by Richard O'Connor all talk about the pitfalls of our technologically driven society. As a floating and therapy centre, this post is to act as a reminder to love and take care of your brain and mental well-being.

1. Cut down social media usage

"The Internet has helped some of us to become more social and to establish and maintain a larger number of relationships. For others, particularly heavy Internet users who are introverted to begin with, the Internet has led them to become less socially involved, lonelier, and more likely to become depressed. Studies have shown a dramatic decline in empathy among college students, who apparently are less likely to say that it is valuable to put oneself in the place others or to try and understand their feelings. It is not just because they are reading less literary fiction, it's because they're spending more time alone under the illusion that they're being social." - Daniel J. Levitin, author of "The Organized Mind"

Social media usage has been linked to white matter abnormalities and executive functioning. An example of being able to perform "executive functions" is when you're at the point where you want to tell your mind to do chores, but something as small as that may seem overwhelming. Your brain hasn't exercised enough good habits that you immediately go for instantly gratifying pleasures instead of taking care of chores and "to-do" type duties. This is not to say that social media and Internet should be cut out entirely. However, it is important to make sure you don't find yourself being run by technology. I have heard a quote from a public speaker in the past whom I cannot recall, but I will try to paraphrase. He mentioned that technology is like a pit bull. If you take care of it and raise it well, it will protect you and be a good investment, but if you don't, you're in for a world of hurt.

Suggestion: Humans aren't infinite consuming beings. We like to think we are, however we are not. We wouldn't consume an infinite buffet of food, so why should we consume an exorbitant amount of mental junk? Perform regular social media friend list cleanses and schedule times when you check. Tim Ferriss, author of the Four Hour Work Week suggests having set times when you check email and attend phone calls.

 

2. Cut down multitasking

Despite multitasking being proven not to help you truly focus on getting things done, our environment is making it easier to multitask. Numerous books and studies are out against the idea of multitasking. The consensus is that it is less productive than working on one thing at a time. Books like "The One Thing" by Gary Keller and "Make Your Brain Smarter" by Sandra Chapman Ph. D, refer to sources breaking down just how productive multitasking can be. It comes with numerous negative effects, such as a reduced attention span and not getting too much work done. Here is a great section from Gary Keller's book about multitasking:

"The modern office is a carnival of distracting multitasking demands. While you diligently try to complete a project, someone has a coughing fit in a nearby cubicle and asks if you have a lozenge. The office paging system continually calls out messages that anyone within earshot of an intercom hears. You're alerted around the clock to new e-mails arriving in your inbox while your social media newsfeed keeps trying to catch your eye and your cellphone intermittently vibrates on the desk to the tune of a new text... distraction, disturbance, disruption. Staying on task is exhausting. Researchers estimate that workers are interrupted every 11 minutes and then spend almost a third of their day recovering from these distractions. And yet amid all of this we still assume we can rise above it and do what has to be done within our deadlines".

Long story short, cutting down on multitasking and focusing on your immediate task at hand is of utmost importance.

 

3. Meditation

To make sure you don't slip into unproductive time wasting blocks, mindfulness meditation is highly recommended. In Richard O'Connor's book "Rewire", he recommends that meditation should be mindfully done by employing a few strategies.

    1. Not judging yourself - Everyone has those inner voices that is telling themselves they aren't meditating the "proper" way, or the voice that has extremely high expectations that ends up preventing you taking any action. The first step is to deliberately make yourself aware of this voice and just watch it.

    2. Imagine and visualize yourself doing something relaxing like cradling a baby or imagining yourself as a rock being hit by waves.

    3. Employing this routine everyday

We hope this article will help you with your goals towards being more calm, relaxed and efficient with your energy.

 

4 Benefits of Floating [Mini Blog]

Written by: The Intern

There is no doubt floating has had benefits for many people. From self introspection, to managing various pains in  your body, floating is growing to become an accepted form of healing of all sorts. Take a look at what Joe Rogan, host of "The Joe Rogan Experience", has to say in the first few seconds of this video.

Joe Rogan explains float tanks and the awesome potential you can achieve by floating.

 

Here is Tranquility Float Tank's quick mini blog on the 5 benefits of floating.

1. Relaxation

From personal friends I have talked to, as well as the testimonials like this (Float On Testimonials), this (Good Mythical Morning), this (our own testimonial page), and my own floating experience, the consensus is that floating is an extremely relaxing experience. Whether it's because of finally being able to find your breath, or disconnecting from the hectic world, it becomes a relaxing experience. Part of it also has to do with the fact that the epsom salts you float in produces serotonin, which is a mood enhancer that relaxes your body. This is a great alternative to therapy.

2. Accelerate your Meditation Learning Curve

I've noticed, ever since my first float, I had an easier time actually sitting down and meditating. After having had an extended experience of isolation without technology, besides sleeping, I realized, I can stay still for more than an hour, so 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes at night becomes much more manageable. Before that, there was doubt in my mind whether I could be still for even a couple of minutes. If you're looking to improve your meditation intervals, the float tank is a great tool to improve it.

3. Alleviation and management of diseases, disorders, anxiety, depression and Improvement in creative/athletic endeavors

Here's some research by Dr. Bordie and professor Thomas Fine. As this is a mini blog post, I won't be going into much detail, however, according to the article, these are some of things floating can help with:

  • Enhancement of scientific creativity, instrument flight performance, and piano performance
  • Improvement of pain management (96% being able to better cope with pain after floating)
  • Provide an immediate elevation in mood for the depressed

4. Raised self-awareness

I mentioned in my first post, I could objectively pinpoint when I'm addicted to attention. This was one of the several flaws I was able to see in myself after having my second float experience. I remember it happening in a Minority Report-like fashion, as I analyzed my past on this imaginary screen where I could see room for improvement in myself. In the video posted above, Joe mentions that the float tank has been "the most important tool that [he's] ever used for developing [his] mind". 

If you're looking to experience these benefits, please email us at torontofloattanks@gmail.com to schedule a float. If you liked this post, and are interested in more content like this, please like our Facebook page and our mailing list for more :).

Happy floating :)

3 Tips for Your First Float (3 Things I Wish I Knew Prior to My Float)

Written by: The Intern

Wondering about what to expect floating in a sensory deprivation tank for the first time? Whether it was from watching Altered States or coming across a Joe Rogan video, they piqued your interest. As an intern here, I've had the privilege to float a few times in the centre. This article is from my own personal experience that I want to share with fellow first time floaters. Besides the obvious things, such as the fact that you'll be isolated from everything, there are certain experiences that you should expect and know about to make your floating experience more comfortable :)

  1. Welcome all the thoughts that will come rushing in to your head.


You may experience jitteryness. But that's okay. If you've been thinking about going in the float tank for a while now, I'm guessing you have tried meditation. I'll be the first one to say I could not sit still meditating. Being someone who's 20, raised in this generation of social media and being bombarded with distractions, sitting still without your smartphone by your side, trying to quiet your mind was a hellish experience. Floating, compared to meditation, was a better experience for me because I could not take anything with me in the tank. For once, you have an experience where you're completely cut off from the world.

Your mind may start to wander, get into a daydreaming zone, where thoughts start flying in, and feel a little jittery. You'll ask yourself, "why do I have so many thoughts in my head?". This is perfectly fine. I'm no scientist, but I interpret this wandering as thoughts my mind has pent up inside a pressure cooker, and they're finally being given an outlet to express themselves. In fact, there's an article in Psychology Today that day dreaming promotes creativity. Whether you're an athlete thinking about the pressures of the next game, a researcher worrying about grant proposals, a freelance designer wondering what skills you can add to differentiate yourself, a mom trying to just deal with the day-to-day pressures of raising kids, or maybe just simply wondering what's for dinner, we are all human beings that go through many ups and downs which contribute to all the thoughts you have.

In the 4 times I have floated so far, acknowledging the anxiety and welcoming the thoughts has been key to going to the deeper phase of the float session. It's when the water stops feeling like water, and feels like the closest thing you'll experience to floating in mid air.

        2. Stretch and Loosen tension in the body and find your breath.


If you know you have any tight spots, stretch and massage them out. Toronto Float Tanks does offer a Thump and Float, where they use a thumper massage machine that really helps loosen your body. My third float was where I was put through the thumper, and also instructed to find my breath by breathing deep into my body. The third float was by far the most unique float I've had so far, and I believe the breathing and the massage played a big role in that. If you take Yoga, or do dynamic breathing exercises, I recommend you engage in those activities prior to coming in for a float, as it will enhance your floating experience.


       3. Don't expect Life's Answers to Come Flooding In.

I know, especially if you've heard a lot of Joe Rogan's experiences on float tanks, you're probably hoping to meet some kind of deity, or your life's mission in the float tank. I was hoping this would happen to me. You must understand that with anything, including floating, there is a learning curve of sorts where you have to ease in to the experience, just like anything else. Joe has a float tank in his house, which he says he's been using once a week for years now. He's had a great amount of time to really ponder and think about his life in the tank. If you're looking to find more about yourself, expect to invest more time in tank after your first float.

Personally, I have had one unique moment that I didn't experience prior to my float. Out of nowhere, my mind asked, "why do I crave for attention at this very moment and what is causing it?". I have asked questions like this about myself, where it was different was I did a deeper mental analysis where I could quickly pinpoint, "aha, this is where you cause trouble for yourself". It may seem trivial that this is the question that came out of my floating experience, but it marked the beginning process of breaking down this ego that I wasn't as aware about.

Just wrapping up this article, to enjoy an optimal first float session, embrace the thoughts that come into your head, relax your body through stretching, massage, and breathing and lastly, don't expect miracles to land on your lap.

Happy Floating :)