FLOW - The Secret To Happiness
Ever felt uninspired, bored, or even anxious during your free time? Well, we've all been there. Falling into the funnel of Netflix and chill, or infinite scrolling on our phones is pretty easy when we're feeling uninspired or lack motivation. It's a quick way of escaping reality, which also kills apathy and boredom in the blink of an eye.
Even though snoozy days like these are needed sometimes, we tend to waste a bunch of them away with so-called passive leisures: Activities in which we don't exert any significant physical or mental energy, that often leaves us feeling even more uninspired or unpleased.
Active leisures on the other hand, like socializing with family and friends, hobbies, games, and other mentally stimulating activities often leads us to feelings of happiness, purpose, and growth. Like reading this blog, for example. These activities also contain all the important components we need to achieve Flow.
So, what is Flow?
Flow is one of the best states we can experience, often called the ultimate state of confidence. It was first proposed by the positive psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi in the 1970’s.
Flow is achieved when we do something we love, that we’re good at. When in flow, our brain simply can’t focus on other things. We’re not wailing about the past, or worrying about the future. In flow, we're 100% present.
Flow often appears when we do something that is just challenging enough for the skills that we have, forcing us to put all our efforts into it. In other words, we completely emerge in the experience. In return, this generates wellbeing, positive energy, and confidence.
Flow is highly connected with interest, hobbies, and passion - for example in sports like skiing, surfing, playing soccer, tennis, climbing, etc - but also in work, music, art, gardening, writing, having meaningful conversations and so on.
According to the latest cognitive research...
“The flow-state is deeply positive for people. It’s not the same thing as physical pleasure, it's much more connected to the meaning in life. The more often you get into the flow state the more likely you are to rate your life as meaningful, the more you’ll experience well-being.”
How is flow achieved, and by whom?
If you’re reading this, you are 100% able to get into the flow state. People might think you have to "find your purpose, passion, or talent" before you can achieve flow. But it's rather the other way around. You don't have to quit your job, move to a different place, or become an athlete. Flow can be found in many of the things you already possess in your life. It doesn't matter what you do, it only matters how you do it.
There are just as many ways of achieving flow as there are people on the planet, so there's no general guide that works for everyone. The feeling might somehow be the same, but the path there is individual.
However, we've stumbled upon two great tools below to get you started - A video and an article. Question is, are you willing to swap some passive leisure time for some boosting self-development? It’s all up to you!
The 4 F'S of Flow + How to use them
Until next time,
May the flow be with you guys.