How Chronic Stress Can Affect Your Brain, And How Floating Can Help

Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 8.08.55 AMWe spend a lot of time thinking about the type of perpetual stress that afflicts our culture; how all that stress affects our brains and lays the foundation for physical disease and mental illness such as depression and Alzheimer’s; and how floating plays a role in saving us from that perpetual cycle of stress.

For our part, we consider stress to be the underpinning of almost all of our major health disorders and mental illnesses. As Vipassana practitioners (a type of meditation), we view resistance to things being as they are – aka stress – as one of the most disruptive forces in human existence, and floating as somewhat of an antidote that is easily accessible to absolutely anyone, requiring no existing training, ability or skillset.

But how does stress affect us so much? As this Ted Ed video explains, chronic stress changes the size, structure and function of our brains; it drives up cortisol levels, a brain chemical designed only for occasional production to save you from life-threatening situations. It even creates an epigenetic cycle (inherited from ancestors) that hands brain imbalance down between generations. The nasty ancestral “gift” that keeps on giving.

Though it’s less scientific in its focus, this additional video explains a little about how floating can help you manage your perpetual state of stress:

And if you are more into the science, this video from a TedX presentation by Neuroscientist Sara Lazar shows how meditation – and, lest we forget, floating is essentially an induced meditation environment – positively affects brain size, function and chemistry, essentially off-setting the deleterious effects of stress:

It all seems so obvious, doesn’t it?

Stressed? Float!

Just do nothing, for 90 minutes in an environment designed for nothingness.