The flow state is a situation in which a person is so immersed in work that he literally stops noticing what is happening around him. He is so focused on completing a specific task that he forgets about the passage of time, the feeling of hunger and the people around him.
In the flow state, a person can experience a wide range of pleasant feelings: happiness, contentment, freedom. The process also helps to gain a sense of self-confidence and gain control over what has been done.
The term “flow state” itself was discovered and studied by an American psychologist. Mihai Csikszentmihalyi the founder of positive psychology. He defined such a state as the optimal experience that occurs when solving complex but accessible tasks.
Also, as the psychologist noted, the business chosen for implementation should be interesting, meaningful and exciting for a person. With these two components alone, you can find the state of flow and demonstrate your skills and abilities.
Surely you experienced a similar feeling when you read an exciting book, played computer games, drew, worked on a large-scale complex project. The process was captivating, and you did not think about what moved you at that moment. The flow state can be experienced in different areas of life: work, school, sports, art, hobbies, etc.
The maximum participation has a positive effect on the internal state and significantly increases productivity and performance. Therefore, people who often experience this condition can boast of high results and success.
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Why is it so important to be in the flow?
clinical and business psychologist
The flow state is not only a pleasant, but also a useful feeling for a person. Contributes to their internal development, to the preservation of mental health. Deep immersion in work helps to cope with stressful situations and distract from problems. And the feeling of satisfaction for the tasks performed fills you with the hormones of happiness.
There are several other reasons why finding the state of a thread is important. And all of them prove their positive impact.
Greater productivity and efficiency at work. A person in a state of flow can work faster, better, and with fewer errors. He easily copes with complex tasks, finds creative solutions and gets satisfaction from his work. Improves mood and emotional well-being. Feelings of joy, pleasure, freedom appear. The person forgets her anxieties and fears, she feels happy, full and confident, personal growth is noted. In the flow, a person develops his skills, abilities and talents. He concentrates better on the goals, reaches them faster. Memory and attention develop. New opportunities and limits open up, immunity increases. In the flow, a person produces five neurochemicals in the brain: norepinephrine, dopamine, endorphins, anandamide, and serotonin. They improve the functioning of the heart, blood vessels, nervous system and immune system, respectively, protect against depression, disease and aging.
How to understand that a person is in the flow?
It is not difficult to notice those who are most passionate about their work. If you use figurative comparisons, then the person seems to enter a parallel reality and is protected by an invisible wall from others. What are you feeling right now? What are the internal markers of this state?
Feeling empowered and confident in their abilities. A person is not afraid of mistakes or failures, and considers every mistake an opportunity for growth, joy and pleasure at work. Being in a state of flow, a person enjoys the process, and not just the result. You have the opportunity to experience the satisfaction of completing a task and achieving a goal. He literally loves his job Erasing time limits. In a thread, a person does not record how long he is busy with the process. You don’t realize how fast or slow the hours go by, physical needs get by the wayside. Being in the stream, a person does not pay attention to hunger, thirst or tiredness.Having clear and achievable goals. The person involved in the process knows what he wants and receives immediate feedback on her progress. He has clear ideas not only about the goal, but also about the means to achieve it.
The flow state is a very valuable feeling, but sadly, a rare one. It is not always possible to find enough strength, motivation to carry out even an interesting business at this time. In this case, psychological practices will come to the rescue.
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How to enter the flow state?
Before embarking on the search for compromise, it is worth understanding the internal state. Sometimes the loss of energy to fulfill the plan can be associated with the experienced stress, poor health, apathy. In this case, you should first deal with the suppressed state, and only then proceed to search for the flow state.
Having dealt with internal problems, it is worth concentrating at five major facilities. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi described them in his book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi pointed out that in a state of flow one should not be distracted by external circumstances. During the performance of any task, it is necessary to control the content of your consciousness. Throw away extraneous thoughts, so wrote the psychologist.
Minimizing outside interference will allow you to focus on your work as much as possible. External stimuli should not distract from the main business.
2. Willpower and discipline
To feel the flow state constantly, it is necessary to apply considerable efforts of will. Tasks must be clearly defined and performed regularly. For example, to prepare for an athletic marathon, you should run 5 kilometers every day. Promise yourself to do what you set your mind to.
Develop willpower in you, analyze what has been done, look for the optimal hours for productive work.
3. Motivating environment
Monotonous and monotonous work does not allow you to grow and improve. Gradually loses interest in completing tasks. For inspiration and new impulses, get out of your comfort zone, challenge yourself, set higher goals.
For athletes, for example, choosing a strong opponent in competition or a heavier bar for a powerlifter can be similar. The main task is to find new conditions that lead to positive results.
4. Deliberate Practice
To find the state of flow, it is important that you set yourself a task that is slightly more difficult than your existing skills. But at the same time, it is worth keeping your senses and not overdoing it with goal setting. Too much homework can cause stress.
To find a balance and not walk away, define a clear result that you want to receive. Write down specific goals and subtasks for your work.
5. Curiosity and self-interest
With great difficulty it will be possible to enter the flow state if the process does not captivate, does not cause pleasant feelings, it seems meaningless. To achieve high results, it is also important to feel personal involvement and understand the importance of your invested forces.
In a global sense, you determine the range of interests, hobbies, set yourself a goal, understand how your work can change the world and be useful to others. If the task set before can fit into the embedded concept, then the flow state can be easily achieved.
The attitude towards work is not easy, but doable. The flow state can make you happy, productive, and creative. Also, this feeling helps to realize one’s own potential and find the meaning of life.
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