Getting in to a state of flow
A state of flow is a greeeeeat place to be. This state, which is also know as “being in the zone”, is defined as an “optimal state of consciousness where we feel our best and perform our best”.
Flow State can happen in all kind of situations: A race runner zooms totally in to a flow state, when the race starts. A surfer who catches an incredible wave becomes “one with the wave” while riding it. But also you, reading a book which you are totally in to, turning page after page, forgetting about your surroundings. Or when at work preforming a challenging task which you find interesting, and without you even noticing it 3 hours pass by with a snap of your fingers.
THIS. IS. ALL. FLOW.
Getting in to a state of flow happens to all of us from time to time. And, you know what, we can even help it happen. That is what this blog post today will be about.
A flow state is a happy place. A place where you and the activity you are doing become one.
You no longer notice your physical body. You no longer waste energy judging yourself or other. Your ego falls away. You feel comfortable. You feel at peace. Your whole being is involved. And you’re using your skills to the utmost.
Here are some factors which can discribe the state of flow:
Clarity of goals and immediate feedback on the progress. For example, in a competition you know what you’ve got to achieve and you know exactly how well you are doing - whether you are winning or losing.
Complete concentration on what one is doing at the present moment, with no room in one’s mind for any other information.
Actions and awareness are merged. A guitar player merges with the instrument and becomes the music that he plays. The activity becomes almost automatic, and the involvement seems almost effortless (though far from being so in reality).
Losing awareness of oneself or self-consciousness is also a common experience but, interestingly, after each flow experience the sense of self is strengthened and a person becomes more than he or she was before.
Sense of control over what one is doing, with no worries about failure.
Transformation of time. Usually, time passes much faster than expected. However, the reverse can also be true.
Doesn’t that just sound great?
Lets look at how we can encourage MORE of this state of flow to enter our lives, because we can do different things to try to get in to a state of flow.
Challenge Flow often happens when a person’s skills are fully involved in overcoming a challenge that is just about manageable.
Soduko … or puzzle, doing sports, engaging in meaningful project at work/school, draw or write. All events which demands your full attention, and therefore will increase the possibility of flow, when you first allow yourself to dive in.
Eliminate all external distractions Set yourself up in a space where you feel comfortable. Tidy it up (a messy desk will often mess up your mind too (depending on what kind of person you are)). And PUT AWAY THAT MOBILE PHONE!
Eliminate all internal distraction Whenever you experience stress or have too much on your mind, it’ll be incredibly hard to keep your mind focused on your task at hand — and therefore it’ll be impossible to reach flow state. This takes practice. Meditation is one thing which can help you clear your mind, so that you can more easily focus and zoom in. Another way of calming your mind is journaling. Start a journaling practice, so that you through that can start to let go of that business of the mind by writing it down. You will be amazing how a few weeks of daily journaling will affect you ability to focus.
Work at the time of day which is the most optimal for YOU Getting into flow state is hard if you are low on energy. You need to have the willpower to focus. Tapping into your willpower and attention is energy draining, so you absolutely need to do it when your mind is sharp and energized.
Work on ONE very specific task
Have a clear goal or outcome
Whenever you lack clarity about what you want to accomplish, your brain will struggle to get into optimum concentration. Therefore, clearly set out what you’d like to accomplish to avoid this mental hurdle.
Prost… in water One of the simplest ways to improve the performance of your brain is to drink enough water. Your brain consists of 75% of water, so it’s no wonder that we start to experience immediate effects when we don’t drink enough water.
Sending you lots of love and F L O W
Hanne, founder of FLOWfabrik <3