When I was 18, I had my first panic attack. I had
experienced anxiety before but never anything that came close to a panic
attack, let alone one that would completely take over my physical body. I’ll
never forget the day when it happened—how my joints
locked up, how I completely lost my vision and how I could feel my chest
tightening so much that my heartbeat was pulsating up into my temples. This was
something I never thought I’d ever have to experience in my life, but I did—and it was scary and it was very, very real.
It took me a long time to learn how to breathe
through the uncomfortable moments that anxiety inevitably brought to my
doorstep. Just as I thought I had mastered it, anxiety came back again like a
loyal companion. I had began to practice yoga and trained as a ballet dancer,
so I thought the concept of conscious breathing had been pretty well integrated
into my life. It wasn’t until I was later introduced to floatation therapy that
I realized I truly had no idea how powerful of a tool the breath is.
My very first float felt incredibly freeing to my
body in a way I hadn’t ever felt before. I could barely keep still I was so
excited with the sensation of being weightless, but still in the back corner of
my mind, I felt anxious. The tightness in my chest began and it kept going and
going until my sternum popped so loudly it startled me and I jumped. After that
release, all I could hear was the sound of my heart beating through the water.
It was calm and I felt calm. The tightness had subsided so I took a deep breath
in and exhaled out loudly. I really heard my breath for the first time and the
sound frequency of it rippling across the water. I noticed that something
subtle started to shift within me and for the first time in a long time, I
didn’t feel anxious. I realized that one breath, a single breath, is really all
you need to change our internal perspective and if I could change my thoughts
on how I breathe and relax, I could potentially say goodbye to anxiety, for
Roughly 1 out of every 13 people in the world
have anxiety and in recent years, that number seems only to be on the rise.
There is something here, something that is really powerful and can help all
walks of life face their internal challenges. There is no doubt in my mind that
floating is one of the most effective ways to help people, now and into the