The flow state is a unique state of consciousness that allows you to feel and perform your best. By tapping into it more often you can start to enjoy a greater sense of happiness, fulfilment, wisdom, and meaning in your life.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Pronounced “Mikaly Hitzemali”) is a psychologist who has studied happiness for over 50 years. His book Flow explains that people who spend more time in the flow state were happier and more satisfied with their lives. He also found they were more productive and creative.
Have you ever undertaken a task and completely lost track of time? You may have felt blissfully unaware of the world around you because you were so focused. But it came easy and allowed you to totally hone in on the art and joy of what you were doing…this is flow!
Flow can take various forms for everyone. You can often feel this unique state in many activities that you undertake in your life. Andrew’s most common flow state is when he is on a solid roll with adjusting patients. Other regular activities you may already experience can be cooking, exercising, creating art, writing, playing music, pondering philosophy, and even solving mathematical problems. When you are doing something you are good at, that you love, and that stretches you without causing anxiety; flow will come to you (whether you choose to notice it or not).
Often recognised as “getting in the zone”, flow can come to you and be a great tool for finding happiness. Some other feelings involved include concentration, clarity, confidence, freedom, timelessness, empowerment, control, and enjoyment. I mean, who doesn’t want to experience these states of being every day?!
The beauty of seeking the flow state is that you are always growing! Here’s AV Chiro’s tips to tapping into a flow state:
- Practise self-awareness: Do you know of the activities that bring forth your flow state? Are you aware of what quietens your mind, feels effortless, engages your skills, challenges you, and is deeply satisfying? If you aren’t entirely sure of the activities that allow for these emotions, it’s time to try new things!
- Reduce distractions: How present are you in your life and work? De-cluttering your work spaces and giving the task at hand your full attention will allow for the flow to follow through.
- Suspend self-judgement: Our inner critic is often the most limiting part of our being. Practice daily speaking to yourself how you speak to others. Love yourself right now and believe in the positive thought…the rest will come.
- Set new challenges: Flow doesn’t happen when you are under-challenged or over challenged. To stay in flow you need to keep challenging yourself at the right level. What can you do in your life to set new challenges that engage and stretch your skills a little?
- Give yourself permission: a defining and key feature of the flow state is enjoyment. The pressures of being an adult can often be overwhelming, however, allowing you inner child to shine through and allowing yourself time to do things that put you in the flow state will be sure to bring happiness and peace.
Have you been in a flow state whilst reading this article? Perhaps whilst cooking your breakfast this morning? Upon recognising times you already feel “in the zone” you can expand on these moments and find new experiences to get you living in that optimal, unique state more often. We’d love to hear your feedback and experiences!
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