According to the old saying, time flies when you’re having fun. The same thing happens when you’re in a state of flow.
That’s the term coined by the psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Flow describes an experience where you lose yourself in what you’re doing. You feel totally immersed and engaged.
There are even changes in your brain activity, like increased dopamine levels that are associated with enjoyment and motivation.
If you’ve experienced the exhilaration for yourself, you probably want more such moments. Try this foolproof formula for finding your sense of flow.
Benefits of a Flow State
There are many compelling reasons for trying to introduce more flow into your life.
Consider these important advantages:
1. Boost your mood. Sometimes you have to push yourself to do things that will eventually increase your wellbeing. However, flow feels a lot more pleasant than visiting the dentist, so you’ll be happier right away.
2. Manage stress. At the end of a busy day, you might want to sit down and relax. However, challenging yourself with something you find rewarding can sometimes be more effective than taking it easy. Try working on your hobbies instead of watching TV.
3. Build your confidence. Flow helps you to discover your strengths and maximize them. You start accomplishing more when you focus on activities that you love and excel at. Soon, you’ll find it easier to believe in yourself and your abilities.
4. Enhance your performance. Think about those moments when you’re at your peak. You’re more likely to excel when you’re working with passion and purpose.
Activities that Help Promote Flow
Depending on your approach, almost anything you do can give you feelings of flow.
These are a few of the most popular areas if you’re looking for where to begin:
1. Express your creativity. Earn a living making art or do it as a pastime. Choose a medium that you find exciting. You might write a novel or paint landscapes.
2. Play sports. Lead a more active life. Join the office softball team or sign up for a volleyball league with a community group. Train to compete at the Olympics or complete a 5K run for your favorite charity.
3. Pursue your education. Add to your knowledge and skills. Take business courses that you need for your job or study subjects just for the pleasure of learning. Teach what you know at a nearby senior center or online academy.
4. Advance your career. Only 36% of U.S. employees feel engaged at work, according to a 2020 Gallup poll. Ensure that you’re one of them. Think about the meaning behind your tasks. Try to structure your job in a way that allows you to apply your strengths.
Other Tips for Creating a Flow State
Once you’ve established your priorities, experiment with different strategies. Flow is a skill you can develop with practice.
Try these techniques:
1. Seek balance. Flow usually happens when you’re doing something that’s challenging, but within reach. Having an accurate sense of your capabilities enables you to aim high without overwhelming yourself.
2. Set specific goals. You’re more likely to reach your targets if you make concrete plans and write them down. Be precise about details and dates.
3. Limit distractions. Focus on one thing at a time. Take a break from your phone and other devices for at least an hour each day.
4. Appreciate the journey. Cultivating flow does more than deliver positive results. Remember to savor the trip as much as the destination.
Spend more time on activities that bring you happiness and help you to use your personal strengths. Encouraging a state of flow will make your life more satisfying and enable you to achieve more.
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