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  • Writer's pictureAngie Carel

The Power of Sensory Deprivation: Nurturing Creativity with Regular Breaks for Self-Care

Updated: Sep 2

a woman sitting in a dimly lit room with headphones on and an eye sleeping mask to blog out senses

In today's fast-paced world, where distractions abound and our minds are constantly bombarded with information, finding moments of stillness and tranquility for self-care has become a challenge. As creative individuals, we often struggle to tap into our full potential due to mental clutter and exhaustion. However, there exists a profound method to rejuvenate our creative minds and enhance productivity: the practice of sensory deprivation.

In this blog post, we will explore the significance of taking regular breaks for sensory deprivation exercises and elucidate the differences between meditation and sensory deprivation.

The Creative Mind in a Hectic World

Creativity is the driving force behind innovation, problem-solving, and artistic expression. Yet, creative thinking is heavily influenced by our surroundings and mental states. In today's digital age, where technology has seamlessly woven itself into our lives, constant exposure to screens and external stimuli can hamper our ability to think freely and creatively. The relentless stream of notifications, emails, and social media updates can leave our minds exhausted and distracted.

The Importance of Sensory Deprivation for Self-Care

Sensory deprivation exercises offer a profound way to restore mental clarity, revitalize creative energies, and ignite fresh ideas. By intentionally cutting off external stimuli, we create a sanctuary for the mind—a peaceful void where it can wander freely and discover its hidden potential. Regularly engaging in sensory deprivation exercises, such as floatation tank sessions or dark room meditation, allows us to:

  1. Reduce Mental Clutter: Sensory deprivation removes the distractions that build up in our minds, enabling us to focus more intensely on our thoughts and ideas.

  2. Enhance Problem-Solving Skills: Without external disturbances, the mind becomes better equipped to explore complex issues and find innovative solutions.

  3. Encourage Divergent Thinking: In a sensory-deprived state, the mind is more likely to make unconventional connections between ideas, leading to unique and original thoughts.

  4. Experience Deep Relaxation: The calming effects of sensory deprivation help alleviate stress and anxiety, promoting overall well-being.

Meditation vs. Sensory Deprivation

While meditation and sensory deprivation share some similarities, they are distinct practices with different objectives and techniques.

Meditation: Meditation is a mindfulness practice that involves focusing one's attention and eliminating the stream of random thoughts that typically fill the mind. It encourages self-awareness, emotional regulation, and a sense of inner peace. Meditation can be practiced in various forms, such as guided meditation, mantra meditation, or breath awareness. The aim of meditation is to achieve a heightened state of consciousness and clarity, which can also stimulate creativity indirectly.

Sensory Deprivation: Sensory deprivation, on the other hand, intentionally reduces or eliminates external sensory stimuli, such as light, sound, and touch. This deprivation creates a unique environment for the mind to explore without external distractions. Popular methods of sensory deprivation include floatation tank sessions, where individuals float effortlessly in a tank filled with saltwater, or dark room meditation, where practitioners immerse themselves in complete darkness. The primary purpose of sensory deprivation is to allow the mind to wander freely, unburdened by external influences, and foster a deeper connection with one's thoughts and creativity.

Incorporating sensory deprivation exercises into our routines can have a profound impact on our creative capacities and overall well-being. Taking a break once per month to engage in sensory deprivation allows our minds to reset, refresh, and delve into untapped creative depths.

By creating moments of silence amidst the noise, we give ourselves the gift of heightened imagination, clarity, and inspiration. So, let us embrace the power of sensory deprivation and nurture the boundless potential of our creative minds. Happy floating and meditating!

Don't have access to a sensory deprivation float tank? No problem... here's a simple activity for you to set up in your home, that offers the same benefits.

Activity: Sensory Deprivation and Artistic Awakening

Materials needed:

  • A quiet, dimly lit room

  • Comfortable clothing

  • A blindfold or eye mask

  • Earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones

  • A comfortable chair or bed to lie on


  1. Prepare your quiet, dimly lit room. Make sure it's a space where you won't be disturbed.

  2. Dress comfortably to help you relax and focus.

  3. Put on your blindfold or eye mask. This helps to cut off visual stimuli, a primary source of distraction.

  4. Use earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones to minimize auditory distractions.

  5. Lie down on your bed or sit in a comfortable chair. The goal is to be as comfortable as possible to help clear your mind.

  6. Once you're comfortable, start to relax your mind. Try to let go of any conscious thoughts about your art or the block you're experiencing. Instead, allow your mind to wander freely, without directing it to any particular topic.

  7. Spend 20-30 minutes in this state. Don't worry if your mind strays onto other topics. The goal is not to focus, but to let your subconscious mind take over.

  8. After the time is up, slowly remove your blindfold and earplugs. Sit quietly for a few minutes to transition back to your regular sensory state.

  9. Keep a sketchpad or notebook nearby to immediately jot down or sketch any ideas or images that emerged during your sensory deprivation session.

Sensory deprivation is different from meditation in that meditation often involves focusing the mind on a particular object, thought, or activity to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state.

In contrast, sensory deprivation aims to minimize external sensory input, allowing the subconscious mind to take over and wander freely, without any specific focus or direction. Both can be incredibly useful tools for overcoming artistic block, but they operate in fundamentally different ways.

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