Isolation tanks and creativity – work, leisure and life’s challenges!
One of the most popular ways to use isolation tanks by clients that used them in our float centers as a tool was for boosting their creativity. Floatation gives you a multitude of benefits without any effort on your part simply by encouraging your body and mind to let go and be the way it should be. Floating to enhance your creativity is no different. Your right and left brain gets into a more balanced state and hey presto while you float and even for some time afterwards you become a more creative person. Just as you are naturally supposed to be. Creativity is one of man’s most important abilities. the ability to come up with new ways of doing things, new theories, ways of expressing oneself and new ways of understanding things.
We had a client who was an advertising executive. He was under huge pressure to come up with new, exiting or interesting ways to communicate the benefits of products in advertisements. The pressure was made even more intense because he had to do it in a certain time frame, usually a very short time. Like yesterday! In that particular business creativity is a matter of having a job or being thrown out of employment. Just having to be creative “on demand” is itself extremely stressful. By using the isolation tank, for him it was killing two birds with one stone. He would go in to float with a very specific project in mind. That is to find a clever advertising angle on one of his company’s clients products. The second bird was that he also needed some serious de-stressing himself. Two problems solved by one perfect solution. Floatation!
He usually booked a 2 hour float to give himself some extra time to just relax once he had worked on the challenge. That extra time was to let go totally, not to think or come up with any ideas but simply to float without a care. Sometimes he would come out of the floatation suite after 45 minutes or even on occasion just 30 minutes, smiling from ear to ear. “I have got it!!” he said ecstatically, “I’ve had a fantastic idea”, “I’ve sorted it out”. He was so happy and excited he rushed off back to his office forgetting to continue floating for the rest of his paid float session missing out on the maximum de-stress benefit.
Isolation tanks and creativity go hand in hand. They cannot actually be separated. Here’s why:
How is that he came up with ideas so easily in the isolation chamber?
The answer lies in the extraordinary effect that by reducing sensory input to a person to a minimum the right brain realizes that it is free to play. We won’t repeat it again here as it was well described in an earlier blog on floatation tanks and achieving goals. There is also a link in that blog to the remarkable research that proved it which was carried out over several months in an Ocean Float Room float center. Here are links to other interesting research into isolation tanks and creativity and into the effects of flotation on creative problem solving and originality.
What other jobs benefit from a boost in creativity?
It’s far easier to ask what jobs are not benefited by a bit of extra creativity. Do engineering jobs benefit? You bet! By coming up with a better way of making something work! Do artistic jobs or leisure pursuits benefit? Copy writers, authors, theatre, designers of every type, painters, sculpturing, pottery. Well yes they all rely on creativity. How about computer programming? Yes. All science based employment? Definitely. You get the idea, creativity is key to most work and leisure. Even sports benefit from creative thinking, creative tactics and strategies. How to beat an opponent. How to come up with a better way to train etc., etc., etc..
Artists that have used the isolation chamber are far too numerous to list. Just three that have spoken highly about the creative benefits of floating are international glass artists Jeremy Langford, musician and composer Peter Gabriel an Seth Green actor, comedian, director, producer and writer. Jeremy Langford now runs his own isolation tank center.
Isolation tanks and creativity – The eureka moment
Coming up with a new idea or coming up with the solution to a problem is often called a eureka moment or a light bulb moment. It usually happens suddenly, spontaneously coming as if from nowhere. This is in contrast to our advertising executive who went into the isolation chamber with a particular goal in mind to work on while floating. Einstein and many other scientists have come up with not just an idea but an entire theory in a light bulb moment. Eureka in Greek means “I’ve got it!”. It is the state motto of California and is even the name of a town there. It was said by a Greek scientist Archimedes when he suddenly realized a very important scientific principle, the Archimedes Principle. That principle still stands today 2000 years later. Sometimes they suddenly visualize the answer. Sometimes they just think it but they all describe it coming to them when they were not actively thinking about it but rather daydreaming, relaxed or even half asleep. Sounds like an isolation tank float?
Yes, these Eureka moments are commonly reported by people who float. During floatation or when they are just drifting off in that very pleasant space that feels like being half awake and half asleep . . . It comes to them. It has happened to me many times and it is the most brilliant feeling. Often that understanding or realisation has to do with one of life’s challenges. Maybe a relationship problem or a decision that you have struggled with. It is an uplifting feeling of elation or maybe relief which is so great when you have understood how to deal with something or realised something that has churned away for days, months or even years.
Our brains are truly wondrous organs that can bring us all manner of positive and negative experiences. It can take us up to the highest heights and down to the lowest depths. Floatation releases chemicals and frees parts of the brain that can really help us to achieve the heights.