Flow is a time when you are immersed in what you are doing that very moment. You are totally focused, concentrating, using a skill and challenging yourself. Sometimes even time is distorted, ever hear “time flys when you’re having fun”? That comes from being in a flow state. Typically during flow, emotions are neutral but afterwards there is a sense of satisfaction and a shift to a more positive mood. In addition, flow helps us develop our sense of self, our uniqueness and our strengths. It helps you put yourself in harmony within yourself and in relation to others.
Elements of a flow experience:
- Having clear goals to focus
- Feedback, immediate feedback is best
- Right Ratio of Challenge and Skill – see graph below
- Deep Concentration, totally absorbed in the moment
- Being in the Present, totally engaged not thinking about your todo list
- Distorted Perception of Time
- Apparently Effortless Control, activity takes on a life of its own
Reflect to yourself
Can you think of time recently that you have had a flow experience, where you were totally concentrated and challenged to develop a skill?
What were you doing? Where were you? Who were you with?
What skills were involved in this experience of flow?
Want more flow? Here are a few ways to cultivate flow in your life
- Practice Focusing, on every activity you do in life, focusing is a skill that must be practiced
- Keep a diary of activities you do during a week including how you’re feeling, this will allow you to see patterns
- Take free time seriously, instead of mindlessly watching TV, do something that requires skill, a challenge and is meaningful for you- you’ll feel more satisfied afterwards
- Flow at work, if you find yourself bored at work try to find a new challenge for yourself or develop a new skill
- Flow in relationships, in general relationships are very important and can provide good flow experiences especially when the partner has a common goal
- Think back to childhood and the flow experiences you used to have, can you breathe new life into an old hobby or activity
- If something is broke, challenge yourself to fix it.
How have you been able to create more flow time in your life? Notice any differences? Tell me below!