Look at the headlines from the past month or two. Threats to the economy, to humanity, to the very planet we live on. It takes an effort of will to keep a positive outlook. And yet, a positive outlook is a major factor in maintaining good health. So if there’s something that can contribute to it, I want to spread the word. That’s why I suggest float therapy for a positive outlook.
Health Benefits of a Positive Outlook
I am not just making this up about a positive outlook. According to the National Institutes of Health, even the federal government is funding research to better understand the link between your attitude and your body. “Research has found a link between an upbeat mental state and improved health, including lower blood pressure, reduced risk for heart disease, healthier weight, better blood sugar levels, and longer life. But many studies can’t determine whether positive emotions lead to better health, if being healthy causes positive emotions, or if other factors are involved.” Even if science is still unsure about which way the causation goes, it might nevertheless be safest policy to hedge your bets and keep a positive outlook.
Tips for Emotional Wellness
The truth is, however, it’s not that risky a bet. Brain scans have shown that positive emotions activate reward pathways in the brain, while negative emotions activate the amygdala. The amygdala, you may remember from previous blogs, activates your fight or flight response and it floods your system with adrenalin and stress hormone. So, if nothing else, keeping your emotions positive is more comfortable than allowing them to be negative.
On that same page, the NIH offers six tips for emotional wellness:
- Remember your good deeds. Give yourself credit for the good things you do for others each day.
- Forgive yourself. Everyone makes mistakes. Learn from what went wrong, but don’t dwell on it.
- Spend more time with your friends. Surround yourself with positive, healthy people.
- Explore your beliefs about the meaning and purpose of life. Think about how to guide your life by the principles that are important to you.
- Develop healthy physical habits. Healthy eating, physical activity, and regular sleep can improve your physical and mental health.
Float Therapy for a Positive Outlook
To that list, I would like to add
- Float Regularly. Research has shown that floating can reduce anxiety and improve mood.
A 2016 study found floating helps sleep difficulties, difficulties in emotional regulation, and depression. All of these effects can contribute to a positive outlook, and I can tell you from personal experience that floating helps to manage negative thinking. It does not eliminate such thinking, and you really wouldn’t want it to. Negative thinking is useful for helping you through problems in the short term. The danger arises when it comes to dominate most or all of your thought processes. Floating helps to manage that.
It’s not a miracle, however. Even the 2016 study linked to above noted that it did not help to promote mindfulness and that it wasn’t useful for pathological worry. I would suggest if you’re troubled by pathological worry, you should seek professional help.
But if you are, like most of us, letting your outlook become colored by news of the day and find yourself becoming cynical, pessimistic, or just negative, then floating may help you manage that. Book a session or two for yourself and find out.