State of flow in psychology
In a world where we are distracted at every turn, where roles and titles mean more than substance, it’s easy to lose your way in terms of what you should do with your life, and as a career. As with many things in life, the answer might be simpler than you think. Researchers have found that a certain state of mind can predict your place in this world and the possibility for your future success. It is a more robust measure of success than IQ. Anyone can achieve it with a little insight, time and patience. This optimal state is called 'the state of flow'. Scientists are beginning to understand the immense power and increased health benefits that are the natural outcomes of this state. Click To Tweet
The world of psychology continues to examine the “state of flow”. It is often described by psychologists as higher consciousness. It is also often referred to as a state reached in which you lose all sense of time and self. In this mindset, the task is difficult enough that you aren’t bored, but not so much that you are completely discouraged. It is also known as a mentality in which breakthroughs and creative thinking appear to be natural outcomes. The key to this heightened mental process is to know where your passions lie. This is truly the doorway to losing yourself completely, and at the same time accomplishing amazing results that would otherwise be impossible when out of sync with this natural state of being.
What are your passion and purpose?
Obviously, the path to this mentality varies from person to person, so it pays to know yourself well. The benefits of reaching this heightened state on an ongoing basis are numerous and well researched.
Areas that are typically more difficult to navigate become easier when you reach a state of flow. Studies suggest that creativity also reaches higher peaks when this mentality is in play. Surprisingly, creativity tops the list as one of the most important skills within all fields, including the more scientifically based industries. Click To Tweet Seeing a problem from a different vantage point, and in a novel way, can lead to advancements, and breakthroughs. Creativity isn’t confined to artistic endeavors; it is also a way of thinking, and of being. It includes the ability to connect seemingly unrelated concepts, ideas, and information. This connection often brings innovative insights. It’s not surprising then that creativity is seen as a necessary skill to have in all industries.
Studies show that creativity is the most important skill for success in the 21st centuryJason Teich, The Secrets of Creativity
What are the benefits of the state of flow?
Studies have shown that when you reach this state, your performance at a given task goes through the roof, both physically and mentally. You are able to hit increased levels of performance as your brain cuts out the noise of distractions and hyper-focuses on the task at hand. Expertise also increases over time. As skills are mastered, people are motivated to increase their know-how to maintain a high level of interest while in this frame of mind.
portions of the prefrontal cortex come offline and wink out in flow. It’s an efficiency exchange
Jason Teich, The Secrets of Creativity
Research has found an increased sense of well-being and health outcomes, both physically and mentally, when people spend more of their time in this state. This mindset can become addictive as your body releases many positive feel-good hormones such as dopamine, and serotonin under its influence. Dopamine affects motivation levels and your ability to learn. Serotonin is related to memory, learning, social functioning and is a mood regulator. Spending more time with increased levels of positive hormones plays a pivotal role in how you function every day, and in your overall health. Bottom line is, the more time you spend in this state, the healthier and happier you’ll be.
Self-knowledge is key. It is so important to know what you are passionate about, and where your strengths lie. It can lead to better health outcomes and a higher quality of life overall. If you still aren’t really sure what your niche is, or whether you have one, rest assured some of the most successful people found their calling later in life. This list includes Stan Lee, Julia Child, and Vera Wang among other well-known success stories. So if you don’t know what it is that can induce a state of flow, stick with it, and continue to try to find it. It’s worth the effort!
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