Like we’ve discussed in A BB guide to deal with disappointment and create more satisfaction in your life, feeling let down or experiencing discontent because circumstances may not meet your expectations is a natural occurrence.
Disappointment is a pretty regular fact of life. It happens all the time. In the previous post I gave you 8 ways we can change our reactions when things don’t go our way. One of my favorite methods, that I mentioned was flow state. But you may be asking what exactly is flow state.
What is Flow State?
Flow state is a conscious state of being fully present, focused in the now, and allowing happiness and contentment with no room for self-consciousness. Also, could be described as being in the zone and demonstrated as rolling with the punches, in scenarios where malcontent is concerned.
A famous saying from Lao Tzu states that “If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.”
The method of Flow State advises us to focus on the now and focus on what is happening at this very moment.
Psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, who coined the term describes it as an “optimal state of consciousness where we feel our best and perform our best.” And “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.”
Other states of being include relaxation, boredom, worry, anxiety, and arousal.
When you allow yourself to enter flow state you do not leave much room for emotions such as anger, jealousy, envy, stress, aggression, competition, worry, and disappointment; all of which are lower level ego-based emotions.
Alayna Kennedy, contributor for the Huffington post wrote in her article “Flow State: What It Is and How to Achieve It” that 10 factors that accompany flow state are:
1.Having clear goals about what you want to achieve
2. Concentration and focus
3. Participating in an intrinsically rewarding activity
4. Losing feelings of self-consciousness
5. Timelessness; losing track of time passing
6. Being able to immediately judge your own progress; instant feedback on your performance
7. Knowing that your skills align with the goals of the task
8. Feeling control over the situation and the outcome
9. Lack of awareness of physical needs
10. Complete focus on the activity itself
When you enter flow state you do not focus on the future or the past – just the task at hand, and the present moment. Flow state is a conscious state of being fully present, focused in the now, and allowing happiness and contentment with no room for self-consciousness.
Have you ever sat down to work on something and get so wrapped up in it, that you seem to lose all track of time? That is being in flow. If you think back to that time – do you remember feeling any anxiety? Do you remember wallowing or feeling low? Do you remember any second guessing? There was no room for any of that.
The next time you are feeling overwhelmed by life take some time to clear some space for yourself and get into flow state. Think about what is needed for you to get a state of flow. What contributed to you being in the zone?