Go with the Flow
Have you ever experienced a degree of focus so intense that time just seems to melt away?
Well, congratulations- You have achieved flow!
Defined as the “mental state of operation in which a person in an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement and success in the process of the activity”, it is considered to be one aspect of what makes us happy. Flow is very similar to a zen state, where the mind and body are balanced and focused on a single task.
The results of “Flow” are an important part of our culture: champion athletes, skilled musicians, elegant writers and passionate artists all produce results from the process of Flow. But achieving Flow is not restricted to these skilled activities- you can achieve flow scrubbing the floors, playing a video game or exercising. Basically any activity, however menial, may result in flow. And when it does, it is intrinsically satisfying for the individual.
When we are in this state of Flow, not only do we reach a sort of timelessness, but our brains are more physically active. In fact, people who regularly engage in mindful pursuits such as yoga and meditation have been shown to have larger, more active brains!
After reading about Flow, I’ve been trying to think back to a time in my life that I can recall reaching this zen-like state. Unfortunately, I can’t really think of any, which does worry me slightly (oh no, my brain must be tiny!). I do try to meditate, but I think I’m going to have to try a bit harder- I really like the sound of this Flow!
What about you, when have you achieved Flow? I’d love to hear from you!