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Find Your State of Flow

health lifestyle motivation Aug 06, 2020

4 min read

In a world that is increasingly overwhelming, with negative news cycles, almost everything in your fridge being potentially harmful to your health, and schedules that are more for three people than just little old you… we are in DESPERATE need of flow states. 

 

What is a flow state, might you ask?

According to clinical psychologist, Carla Marie Manly, PhD, a state of flow is “that space of joy and heightened focus that results from absolute immersion in a favored activity… a flow state creates a sense of oneness, with no division between the physical body, the mind, and the activity.

Think back to a time that you were completely immersed in something. So much so that life’s problems, big and small, seemed non-existent. You were simply being and the activity you were engaged in was the only thing that existed in that period. Another way to think of it is being “in the zone.”

It doesn’t matter if you achieved flow while gardening, painting in your wine-and-paint class, or simply journaling. Anything (healthy for you) counts!

Why you need to “flow”

A state of flow is great for work productivity but also therapeutic for your well-being. 

It helps reduce stress and anxiety, because your mind is focused on just that one activity and not secretly worrying about your to-do list.

We feel enlivened, and the neurochemical release and general state of positivity we are in has lasting effects on physical and mental health.

Tips for finding your flow

If you are struggling to enter that wondrous zone, try out these tips: 

  1. Be clear on what it is you want to pour your heart, mind, and body into. Whether it’s baking cookies or writing a book, anything goes.
  2. Create a space free of interruptions. Close open tabs on your laptop, put your phone on night mode, and close off the world to the best of your abilities.

  3. Bring the energy. You won’t be able to focus on your chosen activity if you’re sleep-deprived, hungry, or exhausted from other activities. Rest, refuel, and then dive in.

  4. Start and let go. It’s normal to have thoughts popping up while getting started, but keep diving into your activity despite them. The more momentum you build, the stronger your state of flow will be. The next thing you know, 2hrs have passed!

Ideas for finding your flow

  • Crossword and number puzzles
  • Cooking
  • Reading
  • Meditation
  • Gardening
  • Adult coloring books
  • Knitting 
  • Painting

Once you find what methods and activities work for you, use your state of flow as a mechanism to cope when life begins to feel a bit overwhelming.

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