Have you ever floated in water in complete darkness and silence? It sounds a little scary, but the experience is extremely calming and peaceful. Floating is a well-researched method to release stress and rejuvenate the body. If you have not tried it, I strongly recommend it! Today, we chat with Andreas Martin, who has brought float tanks from Sweden to China to help people feel better about themselves in body and mind!
Co-Founder & Partner, Floatasian Float Spa
10 years in China
Why do you think talking about mental health is important?
Everyone knows that fatigue, sleep problems, and depression can be related to too much work and stress, but people have gotten used to this way of life that is slowly breaking them down. To realize when it’s time to slow down can be hard, but if you know the symptoms there is a greater chance of avoiding a breakdown.
Talking openly about it takes away some of the taboo and negative stigma that still exist around mental health problems, and also encourages people to find the help they need. Learning about this also makes it easier to help others before it is too late.
In Sweden, a lot of celebrities have talked openly about their own problems in media and in their own podcasts, downloaded by more than 10% of the Swedish population every week. These very respected people talking about the topic in an encouraging way, and this has taken away a lot of the negative stigma around mental health problems. I hope the same will happen here in China.
Do you find it hard to discuss topics like burnout, stress, depression with other men? Is it different between Sweden and in China?
Talking about these topics one to one has not been a problem in recent years. But I cannot remember ever doing it in a group. I have talked to many entrepreneurs and almost all of them have suffered from anxiety and too much stress. Sometimes I feel like I am manic-depressive at times with all the ups and downs from running a business.
Even macho men share stories about their mental health if you are good friends. But I don’t think they would do it in a group of men. It is the same with feelings. Men usually don’t share their feelings in groups with other men. It is a trend in Sweden now to talk and share mental health problems at least amongst “media-men”, and I hope Chinese men, or men in China, will do the same too!
How does Floatasian help people with their mental wellbeing?
At Floatasian our customers use Floatation R.E.S.T (Restricted, Environmental, Stimulation, Technique) also called Floatation Therapy. Floatation lowers your stress hormones, releases pain and increases your sleep quality. The relaxation response kicks in and help people to counteract the toxic effects of chronic stress by slowing down breathing rate, heart rate, relaxing muscles, and reducing blood pressure.
This combination is really helpful for people who are over stressed. Slowing everything down opens up your mind in a way that makes problem solving more effective and it also helps you think outside the box, especially because when you are stressed, it is easy to get tunnel vision and neglect other perspectives.
Can you share your experience of a stressful time with us?
When we were in the middle of setting up our business and decorating our spa I was very stressed out. Trying to sleep at night I could hear my heart pounder hard and at least in my mind it felt irregular, like dun, dun, dun, dun…..DUN. After a couple of days (maybe weeks) of that, I went to the hospital to check my heart.
When the doctors said that my heart was totally fine, I felt a little embarrassed because I realized it was all in my head. However, the feeling of relief was stronger and I really suggest people to see a doctor in similar situations as fast as possible. Just hearing a professional’s opinion was calming. And also I knew then I need to deal with my stress.
How do you take care of your mental health?
I float of course :)! But I also exercise, yoga, meditate, run and walk a lot. Before I have self medicated with alcohol at stressful times but that only made it worse. A lot worse!
Making sure to float, exercise, eat healthy and perhaps most of all getting enough sleep keeps me sane. I have two jobs so it’s very important for me to follow routines. I try to go to bed at the same time every night for example.
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