Flow State for Beginners: How to Get Started and Make It a Habit

CoachHub · 9 January 2023 · 6 min read

Most people have experienced the feeling of being in a flow state, even though they might not know what it is called. It is a state where there is a sense of fluidity connecting your body to your mind and you become completely focused on something enough to repel distraction. In a flow state, time feels slower and you have heightened senses. You are completely absorbed by the task you have at hand and it feels like you are one with it. You operate with a momentum that syncs action and awareness between your mind and body. For some, this feeling is called “the zone”. It is the flow state and anyone can access it during daily activities or a specific creative endeavour.

The flow state is one of total concentration and engagement that is very important in improving overall human performance. It provides you with the needed mental engagement you need to successfully complete tasks and achieve excellent results at the end. A flow state enables you to dedicate high levels of attention and focus to your tasks that will help you grow and perform better. There have been several studies dedicated to the benefits of the flow state for human existence.

What happens in the brain during flow state

Despite several studies dedicated towards neuroscience and understanding the flow state, scientists haven’t completely figured out what happens to trigger it. Studies have shown that the flow state is a unique mental state that arises when the person’s skill level is on par with the challenge posed by the task at hand.

When we work on an absorbing task that is just the right amount of difficulty to not be frustrating, our brains are able to relax into the flow state. When we are participating in tasks that require conscious focus, the central executive network (CEN) within the brain is activated.

When we are not engaged with any activity, our brain enters into its default mode. At this time, the parts of the brain responsible for daydreaming are activated, but they are also the parts that are responsible for the flow state. At this time, our brain records a higher level of activity even though you may not be doing much on the outside. This phenomenon has a very important neurological function during the flow state.

In the flow state, our minds are able to fully engage and focus on the activity in a manner that frees up your brain to make connections between patterns. As you work, the flow state makes the task more enjoyable. During this state, higher levels of dopamine are released in your brain. This neurotransmitter is responsible for feelings of optimism, relaxation, energy and dedication, making you more eager to complete your task.

As human beings, a lot of our mood and performance is tied to the presence of dopamine in our body. The absence of dopamine makes it harder to concentrate and gain pleasure from even mundane activities. The flow state ensures that you can attain higher levels of growth and focus as you go about your daily activities.

Flow-State-for-Beginners

The characteristics of flow state

During the flow state, you become completely engaged in your task and you experience undivided attention. You are unbothered by time and other distractions not directly related to the task.

The flow state could occur during any activity you derive pleasure in and there are a few traits and sensations experienced by people when it occurs.

1. Total concentration

During a flow state, your focus is undivided and you pay undivided attention to whatever activity you are engaged in.

2. Clarity

Your goals and vision become very clear. The prospective results further motivate you to complete the task while engaging the parts of your brain responsible for that task.

3. Fluidity of time

In the flow state, time becomes more fluid. It may seem faster or slower depending on the task. When you enjoy a task and become engrossed in it, you are less worried about how time passes.

4. Rewarding sensations

The flow state triggers the release of dopamine in the brain. It has been established that this neurotransmitter is responsible for feelings of optimism, which is good for the reward centre in your brain. Upon completing the task, you feel satisfied and rewarded.

5. Effortlessness

You are able to effortlessly perform activities in the flow state as it puts you into a state of calm and overall well being. This reduces levels of stress.

6. Balance

The flow state is often present when the tasks’ challenge and your skill set are in sync. A task that does not trigger frustration is a lot more likely to put you in a flow state.

7. Control

You experience higher levels of control and competence within a flow state than in the normal state of the brain.

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Tips for achieving flow state

The flow state can be achieved by anyone. You just need the right set of factors to align and you will experience the ease and peace that comes with the flow state.

Identifying and focusing on activities that bring you into flow

One of the key markers of the flow state is engaging in activities that do not cause stress or frustration. By participating in activities that are on par with your skill level, especially those activities you enjoy, you have a higher chance of easing into the flow state without even realising it.

Setting clear goals and maintaining a sense of progress

The flow state is often accompanied by feelings of accomplishment and reward. The reward centres of your brain are more likely to be triggered when you have a clear goal and vision. This gives the feeling of progress that makes your tasks more enjoyable.

Eliminating distractions and optimising your environment

Let your environment work for you. Ensure that you carry out your tasks in environments that provide feelings of peace and satisfaction. This makes it possible for your brain to relax and concentrate on your activities.

Incorporating meditation and mindfulness practises

A sense of outward calm is important for a flow state to occur. Practising meditation often makes it easier for you to enter into a flow state. By actively meditating and practising mindfulness, you make it easier to concentrate and focus.

Using music or other sensory stimuli to facilitate flow

Sometimes, all we need is the right stimulus to concentrate on whatever we are engaged in. Music is often that stimulus. Other people have been known to engage in other forms of stimuli to segue into the flow state.

Digital coaching for flow state

Some people have experienced the flow state without being aware that they were in it. It is also possible to never have experienced the flow state. This occurs when you are constantly in a state of stress and pressure. Negative emotions are more likely to occur with high levels of stress. This is where digital coaching comes in.

Digital coaching can help you identify areas of your life that are affecting your concentration and attention. This makes it easier to eliminate distractions so you can focus on tasks that you enjoy. Digital coaches are important because we often need an outside party to help us identify factors that make it difficult to enjoy our tasks and activities.

Talking to a qualified digital coach ensures that you have a higher chance of discovering those activities that make you happy, while figuring out techniques to put your brain at ease.

Granted, it may be a bit difficult to access all this information virtually but digital coaching is programmed in a way that accommodates your specific schedule and assists you in finding a balance for your life.

Digital coaching ensures that you get higher levels of satisfaction out of your daily activities to create an overall more rewarding living experience.

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Conclusion

The flow state greatly improves the human experience because you are able to achieve higher levels of satisfaction from your job and your life. A flow state helps you to keep your goals in perspective while maintaining a steady feeling of progress and accomplishment as you complete your tasks.

Digital coaching has proven effective in helping people reach a flow state and enjoy a higher quality of life at the end of the day. If you want to experience more success and fulfilment in your life, mastering the flow state is essential to the process.

Samuel Olawole

Samuel Olawole is a freelance copywriter and content writer who specializes in creating exciting content across a wide range of topics and industries. When he’s not writing, you can find him traveling or listening to good music.

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