The Flow State

The Flow State

For many creatives, the so-called “flow state” is the holy grail of mental performance. We’ve all found ourselves so engrossed in a task that we lose track of time and our surroundings, but few  of us can achieve this magical state on a regular basis. First, we’ll take a closer look at what the flow state is and then we’ll give you some tips on how to train yourself to achieve it more easily.

What is the flow state? 

Put simply, the flow state is a state of mind characterised by complete absorption in the task at hand. This is usually a pleasant feeling that results in increased productivity and creative problem-solving. The concept of the flow state was popularised in 1975 by Hungarian-American psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi and has achieved widespread acceptance since then. Along with Jeanne Nakamura, Csíkszentmihályi described six elements that constitute the flow state. All of these can be achieved separately but, for a true flow state, they must take place simultaneously:

1. Intense concentration and focus on the present
2. Integration of action and awareness
3. Losing yourself in the task
4. The feeling that time is distorted
5. A sense of complete control
6. Feelings of satisfaction related to the task at hand

During Csíkszentmihályi’s research, many of his interview subjects described the feeling of being carried along by water, and this is where the name “flow state” comes from. His study also focused on the concept of “peak performance”. That is, how to perform tasks as effectively as possible. He determined that achieving flow state is the key to this.

How to achieve flow state

Sometimes we achieve the flow state naturally, simply by being absorbed by a task. However, this is not always easy. Life is full of distractions, making it hard to focus. Luckily, there are ways to train your mind to achieve flow on a regular basis. Here at headgearlabs we offer courses in NLP, CBT, and hypnosis. Using proven techniques, we can improve your focus and help you unlock your maximum potential. Get in touch today for more details.