What is the Flow State?
Have you ever lost yourself in what you were doing only to look up and realise that it’s not been a minute but an hour? That’s flow. Flow is that feeling where you are totally absorbed by what you are doing – you forget about the outside world, give your full attention to a task and become totally immersed in. It’s generally achieved when you have a challenging task that you find rewarding and you are also good at. When people experience flow their brain activity actually changes and you get an increase in dopamine (a brain chemical involved in pleasure and motivation).
How Do You Achieve Flow?
- To achieve flow you have to have a task that’s not so difficult that you want to quit but also not so easy that you can still be distracted by other things and you don’t have to concentrate too hard.
- Pick a time when you are unlikely to be distracted (whenever you get distracted it takes about 25 minutes to get back to the flow state)
- Pick a time when you have the energy to concentrate
- Choose a specific goal and work towards it
There are lots of benefits to getting into the flow state. Not only can it help you find greater enjoyment in what you’re doing, but it can make you feel energised and motivated. It’s also been linked to better emotional regulation and greater levels of overall happiness and satisfaction. Getting into a flow state can also improve learning and creativity and at work it’s been linked to greater productivity.