top of page

Unlocking Mental Well-being: iflow Psychology
Your Trusted Resource for Psychological Support

Your Sydney Psychologists, Australia.

Mental Health Help - What is a Flow State?

The concept of flow psychology has been around since 1975 when Hungarian psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi observed that people are happiest when they are in a state of flow. Flow is the mental state of complete and total absorption in what you are doing. The flow state requires such focus and concentration that you lose track of yourself and your surroundings. It's often called "being in the zone".

A-flow-state-is-described-as-an-optimal-experience
A flow state involved being in 'the zone'.

What is Flow?

Flow psychology is the study of flow, a state of mind in which you feel completely involved in an activity and lose track of time. Flow psychology is also sometimes called "the psychology of optimal experience."


Flow psychology is the science of flow, which is a state of mind. Flow is a state of total absorption in what you are doing, requiring such focus and concentration that you lose track of yourself and your surroundings. It often happens when people are performing at their best— when they're being challenged just enough to be able to grow and improve, but not so much to cause stress or anxiety.


Flow psychology studies how to achieve this state more often by understanding what creates flow in the first place.


What Causes us to Enter a Flow State?

According to Csikszentmihalyi, it is created by combining two factors: high challenge with high skill. In other words, the best way to enter a flow state is to choose an activity which you find both challenging, but one in which you have sufficient skill to meet the challenge.


Flow is an optimal experience that occurs when you're completely immersed in what you're doing, whether it be playing a game or solving a problem.


When we are in a state of flow, time seems to slow down and our sense of self disappears. Our perception of the surrounding world changes as well—we become so involved with what we're doing that we lose track of everything else around us. This results in better performance because there's no thought involved; it becomes second nature to carry out whatever action needs to be taken at any given moment without hesitation or overthinking it first.


Flow can occur during a variety of activities: some are more obvious than others (like playing sports), but any activity that requires focus and concentration can lead someone into this altered state where they become completely absorbed by what they’re doing—even cooking!


How Do We Achieve a Flow State?

A key factor in this process involves paying attention on purpose - bringing your full attention to whatever you are doing at any given moment. The easiest way to do this is to focus on your breathing for a few moments - deeply inhaling and exhaling several times - before starting anything. This allows you to take full awareness of where you are right now, preparing yourself for whatever task lies ahead.

  • A key factor in this process involves paying attention on purpose - bringing your full attention to whatever you are doing at any given moment. The easiest way to do this is to focus on your breathing for a few moments - deeply inhaling and exhaling several times - before starting anything. This allows you to take full awareness of where you are right now, preparing yourself for whatever task lies ahead.

  • The next step is being aware of what state of mind you're in. For example, if I'm stressed about something or feeling uninspired or bored with my work, then it's good practice for me to make some changes that will help me move into a more positive state of mind (i.e., getting up from my desk and taking a walk outside). This can include changing up the scenery around us by physically moving somewhere else within the same environment (such as going upstairs). It could also involve just changing our mindset by trying something different than usual (such as taking up painting).

Positive Effects of Flow States:

When we are in a flow state it can have many positive effects on us including:

  1. Fulfillment through self-expression and creative achievement

  2. Feeling relaxed

  3. Being more optimistic

1. Fulfillment through self-expression and creative achievement;

Flow psychology research has shown that people tend to reach this state when they're engaged in creative expression. In other words, when you're doing something creative or artistic—for example, painting or drawing—you might be more likely to enter a flow state than if you were working on math homework or cleaning your room.


2. Feeling relaxed;

When you're in a flow state, your mind is relaxed. You may feel like you're in the zone or in a bubble of serenity. Your muscles are relaxed, too — no tightness or tension to distract you from concentrating on the task at hand.


You'll also likely notice that your body feels less tense and more comfortable as well as more energised. Your breathing slows down, and then it becomes easier for oxygen to travel through your blood vessels (because they're not constricted). This improves circulation throughout the body, reducing stress levels even further!


3. Being more optimistic;

Being more optimistic means having a positive attitude about life. Optimism is a way of looking at your life, which includes the way you think about yourself and the world around you. It's about how you behave, how you feel and even how live in general.


To summarize, optimism is having an open mind that allows for the possibility of good things happening in our lives. When we're optimistic we look for opportunities instead of focusing exclusively on what might go wrong (or what did go wrong). By shifting our focus to what could happen rather than dwelling on what has happened or what might not happen, we're opening ourselves up to a better future!


A good example would be thinking about trying something new: maybe going on a trip with friends or learning how to cook something delicious! If you're worried that it won't turn out well and end up wasting both time and money then chances are high that nothing will come out as expected… But if instead you believe that everything will work out perfectly fine then there's no reason why it wouldn't because all good things happen when one believes strongly enough!


Conclusion

We can all benefit from the positive effects of flow. When we enter a flow state, our minds become clearer and more focused. We experience less stress and anxiety because our bodies are in a relaxed state, which allows us to focus on what is most important at any given moment without being distracted by other thoughts or feelings. This allows us to achieve our goals more easily while enjoying the process along the way!


Read more about flow here.


Help is Available

If you, or a mate, are experiencing difficulty, support is available. Please contact iflow psychology today or book an appointment.


You can book an appointments online, or by calling my friendly admin staff on 02 6061 1144.


iflow psychology offers in-person, telehealth and telephone counselling. We are registered psychologists. We also offer Medicare Rebates when you have a doctors referral and Mental Health Plan. We would love to be part of your journey.




Location Details: iflow psychology is located in Leichhardt Inner West Sydney NSW Australia


Disclaimer:

  • The information provided in this article is for information purposes only.

  • It is always advisable to speak with your treating doctor, health professionals, and legal representatives before making decisions.

  • This is particularly important if you have: health concerns; existing mental health or medical conditions; or feel you are not coping.

38 views1 comment

1 Comment

Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
Guest
Jan 08

Thanks for the info! Writing can be a challenging task, and I can attest to that based on my own experiences. I often come across subjects that are intricate and hard to comprehend, making it challenging to handle them independently. Recently, I faced significant difficulties in assembling a dissertation, and I sought assistance by help writing research proposal .

Like
bottom of page