What is flow?
Do you every feel so immersed in an activity that hours go by without you noticing? That’s flow.
The idea of flow comes from the realms of positive psychology, namely Mihály Csíkszentmihályi. It’s the state of feeling full involvement, energised focus and enjoyment in an activity.
Mihály said that flow is not about discovering the right experience, it is about enhancing the quality of any experience. So, this month, we looked at how to cultivate flow in many aspects of our lives.
Flow occurs when our skill in an activity is high and the challenge is high. How we define ‘high’ in these contexts is relative to the individual. Using visualisation we can change the skill level and perceived challenge level of an activity.
When you visualise being totally immersed in an action – it is as if you are performing it for real. You are actively priming your brain so that the action feels like it comes naturally to you.
You can improve your overall strategic approach to an activity; specific skills to perform an activity and self-efficacy, having more clarity on knowing your true skill level.
Visualisation makes it become more natural and instinctive – helping you to find your flow.
Putting it into Practice
Flow has become a popular topic of discussion for people at the peak of their craft and, increasingly, for people wanting to level up some aspect of their life. The ‘Flow Research Collective Radio‘ podcast talked about all the research into flow with practical advice on how to cultivate it in your life. In ‘The School of Greatness’ podcast, Lewis Holmes talks with Donald Schultz and Travis Pastrana about their personal experiences. Donald has done a lot of things very well – from all his amazing experiences, he shares lessons learned and dilemmas faced. Travis, a stunt performer, gives us an immersive six-minute experience into what it is like to fly through the air on a motorbike.
Within our VIVE team – we try to apply flow in a few areas of our lives. For Maya, this is currently in her work and, for Ben, it’s in learning to drive.
“At the moment, I am definitely finding flow in my work. I have these periods of just incredible energy and motivation! And more than anything, I enjoy it.”– Maya
“I’m starting to find flow in learning to drive. I found it difficult for a while, I was overthinking things and it just didn’t feel natural being behind the wheel. But recently, I’ve been much more relaxed and loving it!”– Ben