Flow occurs when you are able to reach a state of effortless concentration and enjoyment while performing a particular task. It is a state we all seem capable of achieving. In moments of flow, your mind becomes completely absorbed in an activity. You forget yourself and you are able to function with hardly any effort at all. At the time, you have a heightened sense of awareness of the here and now.
Such states are characterised by a feeling of spontaneous joy. Your emotions become contained, channelled and energised and aligned to the task at hand. A spiritual person or mystic may refer to it as a “state of ecstasy”. An artist or musician may remember occasions when he or she has experienced “aesthetic rapture”, while an athlete entering a competition, may strive to be “in the zone”. Each of these is in realilty a state of flow.
Flow tends to occur when you have clear, well-defined objects and rules that make it possible for you to act without questioning either what should be done, or how it should be done. This formula might apply, for example, if you are performing a religious rite, playing a piece of music or competing in a motor rally. These “flow activities” differ from your other normal ones in as much as that they allow you to focus on objectives that are clear and compatible and which provide immediate feedback.
Flow frequently occurs when you are performing one of your favourite activities - be it watching a movie, cooking a meal or playing a particular sport. It may also come while driving a car, chatting to friends and, even perhaps surprisingly often during your normal working day. It particularly happens when you become engaged in overcoming a challenge that is just about manageable.
In recent years, positive psychologists have focused much of their research in this area. Notably, the eminent Hungarian psychologist, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has made it a lifetime’s study of his. He has suggested that, should your challenges be too low, you can return to flow by simply increasing them. Conversely, should your challenges be too great, you can get back into flow by developing appropriate new skills. The resultant state of flow will encourage you to further improve your abilities and to further increase your challenges.
It is therefore possible to significantly improve the quality of your life by ensuring that the conditions of flow become a part of your daily life. Provided that the relevant elements are there, it is possible to produce flow in almost any activity you undertake. Please read the page on stretching yourself with goal setting and also the page on 10 steps to effective goal setting. Alternatively, feel free to contact me with any questions you may have related to the topic.
The combination of coaching and hypnotherapy can be a highly effective one in creating real change in your life. Should you perhaps feel you could do with some help in setting your own goals and challenges or would like my support in overcoming a particular block that you may be experiencing, it might be an idea to make an appointment to see. As always, I shall only charge should you go on to actually work with me in the future.
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HENDON - LONDON - NW4 - TEL: 020 7112 8272
Everybody has talent and it's just a matter of moving around until you've discovered what it is. A talent is a combination of something you love a great deal and something you can lose yourself in -- something that you can start at 9 o'clock, look up from your work and it's 10 o'clock at night -- and also something that you have a talent, not a talent for, but skills that you have a natural ability to do very well. And usually those two things go together.