The Benefits Of A Sensory Deprivation Tank

While being in Colorado during the month of February, I not only had the opportunity to experience beautiful exhibits of nature, but I had the privilege to try out a sensory deprivation tank. For anyone unfamiliar with this kind of therapy, a sensory deprivation tank is in the form of a pod/tube with water and an abundance of epsom salt. The epsom salt that is within the water, allows the body to float effortlessly, while also providing proper support and a sense of relaxation.

My first experience with a sensory deprivation tank, was a bit unsettling at first. I was placed in a room that provided a shower with shampoo/conditioner/body wash, a toilet, a couple towels, and the floatation tank. The tank was in the form of a tube and looked rather intimidating at first glance. However, after the process of removing clothes, putting in ear plugs, showering with shampoo/body wash, I climbed into the tank and prepared for one of the most relaxing experiences of my life.

This experience included a complete cutoff from any external stimuli and with the ability to float, the body is in an effortless mode of relaxation. As I had been practicing meditation for months leading up to this, I found it easy to ascend into a peaceful mindset. I focused only on my being in the isolation tank and found myself in a state of complete relaxation. With this being said, it did take a little bit to adjust and find the most comfortable position to float in. Another thing that was difficult, was the idea of being in a small space. But I was able to ease my mind by thinking only of the breath and the relief I would feel afterwards.

After a ninety minute session, stepping out of the isolation tank I had felt almost magical. I felt a sense of weight and pressure completely lifted from my chest. I could feel myself glowing and felt a sense of peace and contentment. After this session, I made it a priority to look into this kind of therapy in York, Pennsylvania. Seeing that I prefer natural remedies over any kind of medication, I found it best to invest in a monthly membership with an organization providing sensory deprivation tanks.

Furthermore, the benefits that the isolation tank had on my anxiety and C-PTSD, are unmatched compared to anything else I have tried. The sensory deprivation tank, after three total sessions, has improved the following: focus, insomnia, creativity, intuition, stress/anxiety/depression relief, and clarity. These are just examples of how it has improved my health, but it benefits people in many different ways. I highly recommend this to anyone struggling with anything similar to what I’ve struggled with. Seeing as medication is always a gamble, the sensory deprivation tank provides one with a sense of clarity in many aspects. But the most important being that medications are only crutches and true relief comes through natural remedies and realization.

The Effect Nature Has on Mental Health

The past several months, have consisted of one cold day after another. Personally, I love winter for the idea of snow and wrapping myself in layers. However, I find myself feeling down because the colors in nature have faded and I am constricted to being indoors. My mental health becomes an obstacle course through winter months as I struggle to find the best source of release. Seeing as my source of relief is being outside, I become distressed over having no control upon the weather.

For as long as I can remember, I have always had a great appreciation for nature and what it presents to us. It leaves me in awe, that our planet is capable of such beauty. I feel refreshed and free when I’m exposed to this environment. I am in my best state of mind and feel as if I could live in the trees forever. Along with these aspects, I am able to set myself apart from the daily distress of society.

As it is difficult to experience this feeling when enclosed during winter months, I expose myself to different sources of relief. Specifically, I enjoy going on car rides, as this brings me closer to the idea of being outdoors. I cannot begin to describe how it feels when the sun hits my skin. It feels as though I am being completely consumed with warmth and in that moment, there is nothing else to do other than smile and thank the universe for keeping you alive. To experience such moments as those, are an absolute privilege.

It is incredibly important to find a source of the nutrients that the sun supplies for us. Especially, on the days that we are unable to be physically, exposed to it. Our mental health depends on us to take care of it so we can grow as a person. When we take care of ourselves, it improves our state of mind and our self-esteem. Seeing the things our body and mind are capable of, make it all the more worth it to nurture it continuously.

Healthy Relationships

Throughout my entire experience being in public school, I became friends with several different kinds of people. I can say honestly and proudly, that the majority of these people are no longer in my life. As I strived to fit into the public school environment while also struggling with anxiety and depression, I became friends with people who were seemingly good for my self-growth. However, that was not at all the case when I became more educated about my self-worth.

The majority of my relationships, consisted in them telling me absolutely anything and everything about themselves. Throughout my life, people have always been extremely vulnerable towards opening up with me, seeing as I was encouraging and positively willing to listen to any of what they may be going through. Because of this, I began to notice a change in the attitude of my friends towards me. It became blatantly obvious that they were totally consumed with themselves and overall, they were not helping my self-growth.

I specifically recall a time period in tenth grade in which I became friends with an array of people and we had our own “friend group.” This was the first, only, and most toxic friend group I have ever been a part of. I have always been an introvert so being introduced to this kind of relationship dynamic showed me how valuable my own being was and that I was obviously taken for granted. Most of these individuals were so consumed with themselves that they simply neglected to understand the kind of person I was. All of these people, other than one, were extremely immature and uneducated.

In the following years of my high school career, I began slowly removing people from my life that were obviously toxic. I became much more independent and self-motivated as I began to realize, I am the only one to fully understand the extent of my mental battles as well as my self-worth. I started using social media as a means to express myself, rather than a means to impress other people. I began to love myself.

Although, I had few friends, I have made long lasting and nurturing relationships with people whom I am incredibly grateful for. My siblings, for example, are my best friends and I have so much love that should not be taken for granted and I was able to spread my love with them. Along with this, my best friend Sara, has been my best friend since we were about five years old. I cannot express enough how thankful I am for this girl, she is the most encouraging and wonderful human being I know.

As I also began to start working, my career at Wyndridge Farm was one in which I was incredibly undermined and taken for granted. However, during this time, I built a relationship with someone I truly cherish. Ellen Manning had consistently built me up and encouraged me, even though I was constantly undermined by the immature owners of this business. She was my manager and also one of the major influences in my life. I had never seen so much strength in one person until meeting her. She truly changed my perspective of myself and my potential. She showed me compassion and love through an extremely toxic environment. She was also incredibly undermined in her position as manager, making our relationship grow even stronger. I have an endless amount of thankfulness and love for this relationship.

As far as dating was concerned, I have never been one to dwell on the idea of being single. In fact, I took advantage of it and began to see myself through the eyes of love. Seeing as I have so much love, it is very rarely reciprocated back in the same manner and I am fully aware of what I deserve so I am absolutely not willing to accept less than my worth. I am incredibly grateful for the people in my life and though, I do wish to be in a relationship at times, I know I do not need one. I only need myself and my confidence goes far beyond the treatment I have been given in past relationships. I am dedicated and loyal. This quality has been used beyond compare, making my attitude incredibly steadfast towards the idea of finding someone who appreciates me for all that I am.

All in all, I have so much love and compassion that is utterly unmatched. This will always be taken for granted by some individuals, but this does not have the strength to deteriorate my self-respect and self-love.

Featuring my beautiful sister, Autumn 

Healthy Eating Habits

Throughout the past several years, it has become blatantly obvious to myself that I needed to change my eating habits, as my current habits were resulting in digestive problems. It wasn’t until my junior year of high school, that I began to understand how lactose and gluten were affecting my health. Each day, I would go to school with stomach aches from eating literally anything and initially, I thought this was due to my anxiety. As I continuously tried different foods and eating habits in a public environment, I would altogether stop eating in front of people because I knew it would end up in having a stomach ache. After my older sister, Nina, found herself allergic to gluten and dairy, I found the symptoms matched exactly with how I was feeling. This is when I began an entirely new journey, as far as my eating habits.

As I began cutting out gluten and dairy from my diet, I immediately saw results that were positively benefiting my health. I began to realize how important it was to eat properly, according to my body’s functioning. At this time, I also began working out and incorporating the proper amount of meals in each day. I made it a habit to eat breakfast each morning and this drastically changed my energy level throughout the day, making me more alert and enthusiastic towards any task. I also began to love my body, as my body image had been distorted throughout my negative digestion. I made it a priority to drink the right amount of liquids each day, as well as eating balanced meals that benefited my digestive system.

Furthermore, it can be incredibly difficult to keep a balanced diet, especially with a hectic schedule and trust me, I know this from experience. However, the more I began to motivate my mind in eating healthier, it not only benefited my physical health but also my state of being. Along with other healthy habits outside of eating, I became more optimistic and enthusiastic towards my outlook on life. Reason being, I slowly began incorporating positive changes to my health and though it took a while, it has come to prove how beneficial small changes can make and how it leads to a self-motivated attitude.

Changing one’s diet from a seemingly negative one to a positive one, does require a lot of self -discipline and does become tiresome. It is incredibly important to understand that many people strive to better themselves but there is a lack of self-confidence in which, brings a less motivated attitude. Self-discipline is a long process that slowly builds from small choices such as, eating a piece of fruit as a snack as opposed to a bag of chips. Humans are not exempt from obstacles and there will likely be setbacks in a journey to a better diet, this is what allows us to grow and push ourselves that extra mile, which in the end, presents positive changes.

Meditation

Meditation is a practice that takes time, it is a true test of your patience and self-discipline. I have been meditating, twenty to thirty minutes everyday for the past few months. In this practice, it has been the most influential few months of my life. I have devoted time each day to simply let go of whatever I am holding onto and allow myself to be in the moment. I will admit, I struggled when I initially began practicing meditation, as it was hard to see thoughts as just that, and nothing more.

There are many forms of practicing meditation, in regards to how it is observed and learned. Personally, I began meditating through the app, Calm. I highly recommend this app, as it is a incredibly, thorough start for beginners. When I began using this app, I began going through a couple weeks worth of different series, focusing on different aspects of myself through meditation. Each session, incorporated a different theme than the last, specifically to narrow in on a certain aspect of an individual’s’ life, in which, they may be struggling. However, some sessions were less guided for those who have been practicing self-discipline, either through meditation or other factors in their life.

As I began practicing more regularly, I observed several aspects of myself that had matured or softened. I noticed a positive change in my mood and invited an energetic state of mind to my life. Meditating, has become one of my only sources of relief when I am mentally/physically exhausted, or when I feel emotionally distraught. It has become an outlet for all of my emotions. This is an aspect of my life that had been much needed, as I had consistently struggled with anxiety and expressing myself, specifically towards my parents. The practice of meditation, tested my ability to tune in to the moment I was currently in. Though it was challenging at first, I shortly found aspects of my life that had been extremely, benefited from this practice.

Exercising

Self-care is extremely important, specifically when you’re internally struggling with something. Throughout most of my middle and high school career, I struggled with the idea of self-care because I was too consumed in the conflicts I was experiencing at home as well as, feeling depressed and anxious frequently. It wasn’t until towards the end of my junior year in high school, that I started realizing how important it is to take care of yourself. It was at that time, I also began realizing my self-worth which is something that I had always struggled with.

Although, the process of self-care and the internal goal of wanting to physically do better as well as mentally, it is an extremely tiring and ongoing process. The first obstacle I reached in trying to better myself, was the commitment to exercise regularly. I had gotten a membership with my sister to a gym which we would strive to go to 3-5 times a week. However, during this process, I found myself lacking motivation some days and would end up staying home then later, become angry with myself. It took a lot of self-motivation to understand I needed to exercise regularly, and eventually I gained a rhythm in which I enjoyed going to the gym as well as going frequently during the week.

As it became an easier process in going to the gym, I also found myself outdoors, taking walks rather often. I fell in love with the idea of being outside and on the days I did not go to the gym, I went on a relatively easy walk/hike. I began to see positive differences in my mood as I exercised on a daily basis. I felt more energized after working out as it boosted my drive to do well throughout the day.

As simple as exercise may seem, it is an extremely important factor in our well-being. It becomes difficult to motivate yourself but it does make a difference to consistently feed yourself positive thoughts and I have also found that it helps to notice the differences that it makes in your life. Exercising is extremely underestimated in our society, yet it is one of the key factors to a healthy mind and body. The benefits are far more worth it than deciding to stay home. It is okay to start out simple. For example, to start, go through a walk throughout your neighborhood and in the following days, make a particular goal for yourself.

It is specifically difficult to ignore comparing ourselves to others, especially when going to a public gym. However, it is also comforting to understand that the other individuals there, are there for the same reasons as you and I- they want to better themselves. If we focus on this aspect of exercising in public, we find ourselves less judgemental towards others.