what is a state flow?
Flow is a mental condition where one is completely energized and absorbed in an activity that brings joy or gratification.
The flow state is known as the ideal state of human consciousness, where we are so dedicated to the task at hand that everything else fades away. Time seems to fly by and any doubts dissipate as physical and mental performance reach unparalleled levels.
Being in this mental state has been described as “in the zone” or “in the groove.” When an individual is in a flow, they are fully engaged in their task without any difficulty. There is no external reward; they are simply doing it for their own sake. In this condition, there is no judgment or self-awareness, just elation, and joy that leads to greater creativity and productivity.
A lot of people come across flow by chance, but it is possible to reach it deliberately as well. You are likely to enter flow when you are focusing on a significant task under the correct conditions, and discovering the flow state is a talent that can be practiced and perfected.
Benefits of a Flow State :
As well as improving the enjoyment of activities, flow has numerous other benefits.
1-Positive Emotions :
Engaging in the task that brings you joy and success can bring about feelings of satisfaction, optimism, hope, joy, pleasure, cheerfulness, creativity, and gratification. These emotions can help you handle challenging life events, feelings of sadness, and even failures in life.
2-Lack of obstacles:
When we reach a flow state, the thoughts and feelings, such as stress, worry, and self-doubt, that generally take up a lot of our mental space tend to recede.
3-Improve Performance :
Research has shown that those who enter the flow state while working experience five times more productivity. This helps tasks to be completed in a shorter amount of time, and more effectively while also allowing their skills to be exercised.
4-Emotional Regulation :
With increased flow, people become better at emotional complexity, and with this they can better control their emotions.
The type of joy one can achieve from being in a flow state surpasses a fleeting elation; it is a generalized feeling of contentment and a lasting sense of joy and gratification.
6-Sense of clarity:
When in a state of flow, the body and mind intuitively understand what must be done without having to think about it.
7-A Flow State Improves Creativity :
By being in the state, one is trained to be more accepting of exploration, play, and innovation. The release of dopamine brings not only pleasant sensations but also a feeling of exhilaration. Additionally, it provides the opportunity to be more open to patterns and enhances the length of one’s attention span.
8-Greater Motivation :
Being in a state of flow is a positive mental state, which can encourage increased motivation.
Because the activity gives you positive emotions and memories, you will be encouraged to take on new challenges, continuously improve, and eventually become a master of the task.
9-The heavy sense of concentration:
How to Achieve a Flow State:
In the beginning, however, it is essential to comprehend the dynamics of the flow state. Flow is attained when the difficulty of the task is equal to one’s skill level. When these components are out of balance, flow is hindered because of one or two things:
Boredom: If the task is too boring, you will not be motivated or interested, and it will be hard to keep your attention.(15 Simple Changes that Make Life Less Boring)
Anxiety: When the task is too cracking, you will become overwhelmed, feeling scared to fail and unable to start.(How to deal with Anxiety ?)
1-Find what gets you in “flow”:
You can accomplish this by monitoring your physiology when engaging in activities such as respiration, posture, and energy levels. Flow is a condition of non-resistance which regularly leads to forgetting hunger, thirst, and other desires. Consider: at what point am I executing rather than debating whether or not I should do something?
2-Find your passion :
Doing something that you love makes the flow come more naturally. Self-motivation allows you to remain engaged and focused on your work. If you are uncertain of your passions, exploring various hobbies or activities might be a beneficial avenue to discover something you are talented in and enjoy doing.
3-Set clear goals :
Setting SMART goals, which are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound makes it easier to remain on course. By having clearly delineated objectives, you’ll be more inspired and feel a greater sense of accomplishment upon achieving them.
4-Eliminate Distractions :
Experiencing flow requires reducing the distractions in your environment that pull away from your focus. This can be done by wearing noise-canceling headphones, turning off or putting away your phone, and other methods. With fewer distractions, you can devote more attention to the task you wish to complete.
5-Take care of yourself :
In a state of flow, one forgets about food, water, sleep, or how long one has been sitting on one’s foot. Though this is advantageous for staying concentrated, it is not so beneficial for one’s body. Establish self-care routines that help one stay comfortable and taken care of so one can remain in flow for an extended period. It might be prudent to leave a bottle of water on one’s desk, a bowl of fruits within easy access, or invest in a supportive desk chair.
6-Be your own champion :
In order to be successful, it is essential to not depend on others for motivation. The majority of people lack motivation due to focusing their energy on activities that deplete their enthusiasm. When one starts to dedicate their time to things and people they are passionate about, they will find that they have all the enthusiasm they need.
7-Ignore your comfort zone:
To attain greatness, one must leave the confines of their comfort zone. You are no exception. Disregard your desire for comfort and become adept at persevering through moments of ambiguity, pressure, and fear.
Related:How to leave your comfort zone ?
8-Check-in with your plan :
Take a moment to review your plan to stay on track with your work.
Don’t let perfectionism stop you. Make mistakes and address them later when you look back on your work. Working without fear of judgment includes being kind to yourself, and that’s important!
Keep your objective in mind and stay present to practice disregarding your errors until you have completed your task.
Related:How To Plan Your Day ?
Related:How to Stay on Track ?
9-Take time to rest:
Concentration is like a muscle; it needs time to recuperate and become stronger. No one can remain in a state of flow constantly, so give yourself time to do something that requires minimal or no focus, such as going for a stroll …
It may appear to be unproductive, yet it builds your attention and capacity to finish tasks.
Taking in the fresh air and doing some physical activity can aid in taking a pause and recalibrating your mind. If you find yourself feeling apathetic or unable to focus, get up and go outside for a walk.
10-Keep practicing getting into the flow state :
Attaining the flow state is like all else, practice makes perfect! Review the steps that bring you to the flow state and repeat them to make flow a habit. The more practice you have, the more frequently or swiftly you can enter the flow.
Once you’re done with a flow session, ask yourself things like “Where was I?”, “What was I doing before this?”, and “How was I feeling?”
Don’t forget to learn from your failures as well. What did you do that prevented you from reaching a state of flow? How can you dodge those thoughts or actions in the future?
11-Get into a routine :
Developing a set routine can also help you find the zone. Craft a sequence of tasks that aid you in preparing for a flow state, and follow the same routine each time you do a deep work session. Stretch your muscles, sip your favorite beverage, or light a candle with a unique aroma. When you make a point of consistently doing the same rituals, your brain will learn to recognize that it is time to focus.
You can learn to get into a flow state, but it may take some time and practice. Don’t give up if you don’t succeed at first – try different approaches until you find something that works. Remember that the flow state is personal, so something that works for someone else might not work for you. Keep striving, and you’ll eventually find your own way of achieving flow.
13-Know Your Personal Clock:
There are those who are more suited to the morning hours; there are those who prefer the night hours. Some find they can make the most of their day in the morning; some find comfort in the quiet of the afternoon. We all have an internal biological clock that is calibrated for periods of optimum productivity. If you are aware of when this is for you, use this time to do your most important work.
14-Build more skills:
In order to be able to enter flow, we have to possess the right level of ability and have confidence in that ability, to take on a challenge. This implies that as our skills in something improve, the more probability there is of finding flow.
15-Pay attention to your brain searching for an easy way out :
You may find yourself reaching for your phone or mindlessly browsing the internet when a task becomes harder. If you’re feeling fatigued, it’s fine to take a break. But don’t let your mind deceive you; resist the temptation to escape the hard work.
16-Live in the present moment :
Flow can be achieved when one is completely immersed in the activity and does not allow external distractions to interfere. Paying attention to the sensations of the moment and concentrating on the task at hand can prove to be beneficial. If the mind begins to wander, redirect it back to the current situation. Overcoming the difficulty of deep work may become easier when one practices mindfulness, which can be done through meditation and understanding one’s thoughts.
17-Enjoy creativity :
It is often suggested that the flow state is associated with creativity; therefore, if you find yourself struggling to complete a difficult project, attempt to consider it from a new viewpoint. Creative problem-solving can frequently facilitate the discovery of solutions that were previously not visible.
The link between flow and creativity works both ways. Creativity can help you get into a flow state, and a flow state can lead to increased creativity. The deep focus associated with a flow state helps to bring about a more lucid thought process, thus allowing for the consideration of different approaches to the same problem. This type of creative problem-solving can lead to incredible outcomes.
18-Try the Pomodoro technique :
The Pomodoro technique is an effective method for increasing focus. Select a length of time (typically between 20 and 25 minutes) and set a timer. Remain completely devoted to the task until the timer notifies you of the end of your time period.
Eliminate all distractions by deactivating notifications and terminating any social media applications running on your computer in the background.
When the timer has rung, take a 5-10 minute break before resuming deep work. Partitioning your work in this manner will help you remain focused on the most pertinent tasks while avoiding over-exerting yourself to a difficult task.(While some may find it advantageous, for others, the Pomodoro technique may disrupt flow as the time is broken into smaller parts. Experiment with it, and if it does not work for you, then turn to other means of achieving a flow state of mind.)
19-Leverage memory :
Utilizing memory can be helpful in attaining a flow state, particularly when it entails recalling the completion of a goal and the positive sentiments that came with it. Taking some time to reflect on prior successes can allow us to more confidently evaluate our capabilities in comparison to the difficulty of the task, and set suitable objectives that meet the appropriate challenge-skill level required to achieve a flow state.
20-Be open to new experiences:
Being willing to explore new things can also aid you in obtaining a flow state. Setting free your reservations allows you to genuinely go with the flow. To become more open to fresh ideas, do something outside your comfort zone. Take an alternate route to work, try a different video game, or join a friend for an activity you have never done before. Flow states are simpler to achieve the more unique experiences you have.