NKOSI SIKELEL' IAFRIKA
Entering The 'Flow' State: What It Means And How You Can Achieve It!
There are moments in your life when you are so involved in what you are doing, that the rest of the world disappears. During that time, your mind was entirely focused on the task at hand, to the extent that you weren’t even aware of yourself.
This state of not realizing that time has passed because every iota of your being is engrossed in the task is known as a ‘flow state'. It is the…
“...optimal state of consciousness where we feel our best and perform our best.”
Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? The question is how do we enter this gratifying state of being that lets us be happy, creative and productive?
The when and how of flow state are indelibly connected. To realize how you can attain the mental state (even while working on a busy and demanding task), understanding when it can happen is necessary.
- It can transpire when you are involved in an enjoyable activity. It is why athletes, dancers, and artists experience it so commonly.
- It can also occur when we work on a skilled activity of which we are experts. A quintessential example of achieving the flow state is a graphic designer who forgets all else besides the beautiful and challenging website illustration at hand.
60% of CEOs say that creativity is a vital element of leadership. A person who wants to break the shackles of the status quo needs to think better than the average human. If hard work is one part and hustle the second, then creativity is the third to make breakthroughs.
In this age of technology, innovations don’t happen just with sweat. They occur through imagination and inspiration. That’s the reason top corporate executives, entrepreneurs, and disruptors chase the state of flow.
Those who have experienced the state of mind, know that the levels of inventiveness, contentment and productivity increase by manifold not just in that moment but for days succeeding it.
Ways To Increase The Chances Of Achieving The Flow State…
Mihály Csíkszentmihály, the man who popularised the mental state, said that each person has a different trigger. On top of that, while painting maybe pleasurable for you, it might be a tedious task for another. What does that imply? You can achieve flow state but what it takes may differ from person to person. That said, there are two methods to smoothly hacking into the mental state: physical activity and nootropics.
1. Seek Out An Engaging Activity
A lot of people have found that yoga takes them to the flow state because the rhythmic breathing pattern, serene environment and the challenge of completing a pose creates the right mixture. In these conditions, one can focus thoughts on the present which is one factor of achieving the mental status.
For those who require a more challenging activity, at least physically. Opt for swimming. Again, the repetitive strokes and concentration on breathing take you to the state of flow. The slight intensity of the exercise ensures that the brain remains free of distractions.
Don’t know the tipping point between stimulating or easy? Then running might be the key to attaining flow. It is one form of exercise where you can adapt the challenge level according to ability. If the run seems effortless, pick up the pace to reach flow. If you catch yourself chattering (verbally or sub-vocally), then listen to music.
For those who unquestionably want to up the game, or have tried all other physical activity to no success, rock climbing is the answer. The strenuous physical movement coupled with the attention required naturally takes the brain to flow.
Yes, physically exerting the body is one path to the psychological state but mental application can take you there too. A difficult game of chess, a formidable Sudoku puzzle, a taxing logical game or even inspirational writing are alternative routes of the flow state.
2. Take Help Of Nootropics
Besides the environmental and emotional factors, there are psychological influences that can impact the ability to reach flow. It is why a lot of corporate big-wigs with busy lives take the help of nootropics to reach the state. These cognitive enhancers alter the biochemistry of the brain and thus assist in achieving flow.
A natural amino acid, commonly found in green tea, L-Theanine has an exceptionally calming impact on the brain. When taken with a cup of joe in the morning it raises alpha waves. Combined with serenity, the two make it simpler to sink into flow. If you are skipping the coffee, then opt for the L-Theanine nootropic that comes mixed with Caffeine.
To reach the flow state, the brain needs to be flooded with serotonin and be free of stress. Bacopa Monnieri is a nootropic that does both. It increases serotonin and GABA levels where the latter is a chemical that brings under control the body’s response to stress.
Also known as NALT, the nootropic works wonders on functioning and working memory. Moreover, L-tyrosine is the compound that produces dopamine and dopamine helps in increasing concentration and focus. NALT also reduces stress and enhances mood. The combined effect of dopamine and less stress is ideal for creative flow state!
Prime Mind is an advanced, all-natural nootropic brain enhancing supplement, containing a synergistic blend of natural nootropics, neuro-enhancers and “brain minerals” to provide and fuel the mind. Providing all the essential nutrients to operate at maximum mental capacity.
Prime Mind also contains an incredible ingredient, Lion's Mane Mushroom which has been shown to have very powerful neurogenesis and neuroprotective properties. Other ingredients contained in Prime Mind also improves blood flow to the brain and activates key neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine receptors which directly affects memory retention, both long-term and short-term.
Prime Mind is best used daily for optimal results as the effects and benefits accumulate with time!
Going ‘In The Zone’
Reaching that zone of flow is a feeling to be savoured. Inspiration and creativity seemingly drift unhindered from the brain to the fingertip. A sense of timelessness encapsulates the movement, and ultimately euphoria wanders in. Csíkszentmihályi was on point when explaining it:
“…being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you’re using your skills to the utmost.”
No wonder, attaining this elevated consciousness has been the secret sauce of dozens of artists, daredevils and successful people. Now through nootropics and physical activity, you can readily achieve the state of flow to be more productive and inventive in your work!