Imagine the moment before running a race. Deep breaths behind the starting line keep your pounding heart at bay, and every second seems to be an eternity; yet, as soon as the starting gun sounds and your feet hit the track, every thought slides from your mind. You are focused and sure, challenging yourself to achieve something you know is right within your reach. Before you know it, the time has flown past, the race is over, and though your chest is heaving, you barely notice that you are tired.
According to positive psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, what you experience at that moment is known as a flow state, defined as an “optimal state of consciousness where we feel our best and perform our best.” Csíkszentmihályi, who popularized the term in his 1990 book, the mental state of flow involves “being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you’re using your skills to the utmost.” The ten factors that can accompany this state of flow are:
Having clear goals about what you want to achieve
Concentration and focus
Participating in an intrinsically rewarding activity
Losing feelings of self-consciousness
Timelessness; losing track of time passing
Being able to immediately judge your own progress; instant feedback on your performance
Knowing that your skills align with the goals of the task
Feeling control over the situation and the outcome
Lack of awareness of physical needs
Complete focus on the activity itself
Presently, not these components should be available so as to accomplish flow state, however, they are the feelings and reactions regularly connected with this psychological state.
So what would you be able to do to build your odds of accomplishing flow? In his book Finding Flow, Csíkszentmihályi clarifies that people can search out exercises that meet a portion of the components of the flow, such as playing chess, playing a rationale game or astound like Sudoku, taking an interest in sports, participating in a significant venture at work or at school, drawing, or composing.
"Flow likewise happens when an individual's abilities are completely associated with defeating a test that is just about reasonable, so it goes about as a magnet for adapting new aptitudes and expanding difficulties," Csíkszentmihályi clarifies. "On the off chance that difficulties are excessively low, one returns to flow by expanding them. On the off chance that difficulties are excessively incredible, one can come back to the flow state by adapting new aptitudes."
The significance of effectively searching out the flow state can't be exaggerated. Research done by Harvard educator Teresa Amabile shows that individuals who have encountered this perspective report more significant levels of efficiency, innovativeness, and bliss for as long as three days in the wake of encountering flow state. Propelling ourselves simply outside our usual range of familiarity, extending to achieve a set objective and moving in the direction of that objective with centre, assurance, and little interruption grows our brains and instructs us to be inventive and imaginative abilities that expansion the nature of both the work you do and the existence you live.
For a large number of years, humankind has admired the stars and shaped multifaceted examples, figures of trackers and legends, out of the futile disperse of star-shine; for we people look for importance any place we can discover it. Carrying on with an existence of significance and of profundity expects us to step outside of our usual ranges of familiarity, to challenge our very own thoughts and make inventive approaches to upgrade our time on this planet. The psychological condition of flow launches our brains out of the thoughtless dull of regular day to day existence and more like a significant presence.