Living in "Flow": The secret of Happiness

Posted on March 25, 2014

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. That is "flow".

You probably know what it's like to not be in a state of flow. This can be when there's a lot going on and you have to focus on many things at once. For example, if you're cooking dinner and trying to help your teenager do their homework and catch up on some emailing all at once, chances are you're not having a flow experience. How can you when your attention is so fragmented?

On the other hand, to be in flow is to be so engrossed in what you're doing and this can be in any activity although we often tend to associate this state with creative pursuits and elite sport that literally nothing, not the passing of time, your full bladder or the fact that you haven't eaten since breakfast, impinges on your awareness. And yep, as anyone who's been in such a condition of single-minded immersion knows, you feel fabulous not least because it's not about YOU for once, it's about the thing that you're doing.

So how do we we get into a state of "flow"? The following tips may be useful to help you achieve that:

Choose work you love Otherwise you'll have a tough time losing yourself in what you're doing

Choose an important task Knowing accomplishing a task will have measurable impact will spur you into the focused state.

Find your Peak Time For most people, their peak time is when it's most quiet, for example, first thing in the morning at home before everyone wakes up, or bright and early at the office before colleagues arrive. For others it may be at night.

Clear away distractions Where possible, turn off phones, email and instant message notifications, Twitter, and anything else with the potential to interrupt your focus.

Focus on one task at a time You're much better off ordering your work commitments in such a way that you have plenty of time to give to each task and in doing so assuming all the other elements are in place achieve a state of flow.

Meditation & Deep Breathing Learn techniques that can focus your mind and let it remain in a clear and calm state.

To learn more about "Flow", join Professor Csikszentmihalyi at the Happiness & it's causes conference happening in Sydney from 29th to 30th of May.


Source material from Happiness

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