When you’re in flow, you’re focused, know what you’re doing and completely absorbed in the present moment. Flow was first researched over 50 years ago by the father of flow, Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi. Most of us spend our time wanting to experience more flow states more often because we become more confident, creative, and productive in flow states.
But why is creating so much easier when we enter a flow state? What happens to our brains, bodies, thoughts, and emotions during a flow state?
When you’re in flow you can naturally reimagine alternatives beyond the status quo.
When you’re in flow your brain focuses so deeply that you’re able to move beyond any of the societal standards of “how things should be” and enter a creative space that encourages “what other ways can we look at this?”
The brain is no longer considering the ceiling but what is outside of and beyond any current knowledge base. Ultimately this results in more innovation and creativity. Instead of having the thoughts that “someone’s already done this before” with dread or uncertainty your brain says “(GREAT!) someone has done something like this, and how can I reimagine this to solve a problem differently?
Your mind gets more curious about the unknowns instead of when you’re out of flow you fear untouched territory because we function in a fear-inducing world.
Your self doubt slips away so you can just DO.
When you don’t filter yourself, you create and produce more. The creation process flows when you’re in flow, and you’re not worried about filtering or editing, you’re just thrust into the moment and aligning with the next right action during a flow state.
Outside of flow, the brain can be more methodical about how it’s responding to conditions, feedback, and data. In flow, our brains aren’t wrapped up in anything but the here and now and respond by taking action, and then more action.
You’re not measuring the end game but rather allowing yourself to thoughtfully create from your inherent skill set. This is where your intuition can begin to lead you and spark more creativity and inspiration without any abandon.
You trust yourself in flow.
You don’t worry about your own interpreted shortcomings because often flow positions us to trust our skillset and embrace what we’ve got, seeing it as a worthwhile skillset.
Out of flow we “get in our head” and second-guess most actions, in-actions, and decisions.
You can seemingly do the impossible, such as writing a report that you’ve struggled to focus on for months at a time, or make a decision without fear.
You become more confident and certain which positively impacts other areas of your life to the point where you can feel as though you’re accomplishing the impossible.
You stop filtering yourself in flow,
You stop worrying about what others think of youWhen your brain is in flow, your brain is using a very specific portion of the brain instead of in daily moments of life, we typically are using many different areas of our brain. This usually results in it being more difficult to focus, or ever “get into” doing a specific task or activity. This is why we end up multitasking and truth be told we do an excellent job of this but we never get “fully into” what you want to. When your in a state of flow, you can create beyond anything you imagined because you’re so laser focused on what’s right here, right now.
We’re often delayed in taking actions that excited us because our brains tell us “others have already done this” and the human reaction is to feel like an imposter.When we’re in a flow state our confidence skyrockets, we remember who we are (and our inherent unique gifts) and we can achieve more than we’d have expected in our own approach, which then after the flow state improves our mood.
You have more fun and enjoy the creative process.
Nothing is being forced, but rather you’re engaged in a curious playful process without being attached to the result. Similarly to how when you meditate you’re not “searching for an answer” in flow you’re not “needing an end result” the experience is what matters, and in flow,m you’re having fun because you’re focused on what matters.
Can you guess what happens when we let ourselves have fun? We create authentically and more freely, and we let different ideas, themes, and visions overlap and interconnect like a mosaic of creativity, and that makes for a more playful and productive flow state.
So when you’re struggling to focus, try engaging your body and brain in something interesting that will provide a challenge and that you’ll enjoy. Once you’ve triggered a flow state, enjoy the process of expansion, creativity, and joy that accompanies flow states!