The Psychology of Flow that Makes you Glow

“The best moments in our lives are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times . . . The best moments usually occur if a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.”

-Mihaly Csikszentmihaly

State of Flow

There might be a chance that You are not the problem. It’s not that you are under or over-qualified. It’s just that you are not able to achieve the state of flow.

In fact,

You might have experienced the state of being in a flow, that time when you got fully immersed doing an activity, and your focus levels were so high that you lost sense of your surroundings. The concept of time vanished, and you were “in the zone” as most people would refer to it.

state of flow, positive psychology, flow state
Source: Pexels

It might have happened because you were doing something you really enjoyed, or you got so involved that you did not care about anything else.

What is the state of flow?

It is a way of complete and total immersion in a task that you enjoy doing, leading to losing track of time, food, or ego, as described by the Positive Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

The key to achieving the state of flow lies in deep and concentrated work for a brief period. But how to do that?

Well, It’s time to find out.

Flow state, state of flow, positive psychology
Source: Unsplash

How to achieve the state of flow?

1. Do something you love.

When you pour your heart into an activity, you are more likely to continue doing it. It is easier to focus and, you get one step closer to achieving that state of flow.

Source: GIPHY

There is no sure short way but, this is a great place to start. Be self-aware and list down 5–10 things you love doing irrespective of other responsibilities. You will get more clarity.

2. Striking a balance

The sweet spot lies in the middle. It is where you achieve the flow.

Source: GIPHY

It is about choosing an activity that you enjoy doing, which is not so easy that it leads to boredom. But, it challenges you to do better by pushing yourself to the limit, so you get involved deeply.

For starters, pick something that you think you are average at but being good would require hard work. Try to work on that skill to go from being merely good to being truly great. That is where your flow lies.

For me, this article is a way of achieving flow, I have just started with blogs and, it puts me out of my comfort zone. I need to research, clear my thoughts and then write.

So pick a game that you want to play and be better at, rather than choosing something you only win or lose at.

3. Find an optimal time

The basic idealogy is to pick a time where the chances of you getting bothered by your environment are minimum.

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Your environment should be quiet enough so that your work can get undivided attention and make sure that the time at which you work is the peak for your energy levels and concentration.

Figure out what works specifically for you and make that time for deep work every day.

P.S: Do not judge yourself for being productive at an odd time when all others are either busy or enjoying themselves. The peer pressure is real but, so are the results you get from the flow.

You do you. Always.

Actionable steps to increase your concentration

  • Choose the quietest place possible so that your environment cannot intrude on your plans.
  • Choose a time where the chance of someone interrupting you is minimal. (Like early morning or late night)
  • Do not multitask and get more work done. Focus on a single task with complete concentration and then move to the next. Do not divide your flow state into multiple duties. It does not work like that.


If you’ve read it till here, as always:

Source: GIPHY

Have you ever experienced a state of flow?

Share your experiences in the comments below. I’d love to hear them.

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