Mindset Training

Issue 6

ASRV Wings

Stillness in Motion

WHAT IS A FLOW STATE?

We've all had moments where we get so caught up in what we're doing that time seems to disappear. Whether we're playing a sport, making music, or working on a new project, there are moments when we become completely absorbed in the task at hand. Psychologists call this a flow state, and it's characterized by a sense of effortlessness, heightened awareness, and peak performance. Although these mental states are primarily associated with sports and creative pursuits, we can access them through any activity if we create the proper parameters.

 

THE BENEFITS OF FLOW

Effortless Concentration.

When we reach a state of flow, our feelings of stress, fear, and doubt are all quieted and we are left with a pure sense of purpose.

Intrinsic motivation.

To be in flow is such a fulfilling experience, the activity that is creating flow becomes its own reward.

Maximal productivity.

With the combination of enhanced clarity, focus, and motivation, research shows that being in a state of flow can improve productivity by 500%.

 

THE NEUROSCIENCE OF FLOW

The magic of flow states can be observed in the interaction of 5 key neurotransmitters in the brain. These neurotransmitters are:

Dopamine.

Increases focus, pattern recognition, and information processing. Dopamine improves our skills and productivity.

Norepinephrine.

Increases heart rate, respiration, energy, attention, neural efficiency, and emotional control. Norepinephrine is responsible for states of flow being compared to being high.

Endorphins.

Increase pleasure and decrease pain. Endorphins enhance the positive feelings of being in a flow state.

Anandamide.

Elevates mood, enhances respiration, and improves creative thinking. Anandamide produces similar effects to marijuana.

Serotonin.

Creates feelings of satisfaction. Serotonin is responsible for the positive feelings we experience at the end of a workout or productive creative session.

 

HOW TO ACHIEVE FLOW

While flow is often associated with creative or physical pursuits, it is possible to achieve with any activity that meets the proper parameters. When these conditions are met, we become so focused on the task at hand that everything else disappears from our consciousness. As a result, we're able to achieve a level of performance that exceeds our previous capacities. In order to enter a state of flow, these are the parameters that must be met:


Clear Goals

One of the reasons sports are such a common way to experience flow is there are clear objectives. But we can create this same condition in our daily work too by giving ourselves a clear goal for the given timeframe.

Immediate Feedback

In order to maintain a state of flow, we need to know how we are doing at the given task. We need to see our progress and be able to make adjustments that will increase our chances of success.

The Challenge-Skill Balance

There is a small space between stress and boredom, and in that space is where we find flow. We need to be challenged just to the edge of our abilities so that it takes all our efforts to succeed.


The above parameters are primary and essential for flow, but there are a few other things that will allow you to enter and maintain a state of flow more effectively.


The proper mindset

In flow, as in life, our focus should be on the process not the prize. The pursuit is its own reward.

The Right Time of Day

Everyone has different times of day when they feel their most creative and focused, and we will naturally find our flow more easily during these times.

Eliminate Distractions

Minimizing the noise and clutter in our environment removes the common distractions that can pull us out of flow.


 

STILLNESS IN MOTION

Our Summer ‘22 Collection, dubbed “Stillness in Motion,” is a celebration of the fact that true fulfillment, satisfaction, and purpose are not found in a passive state of relaxation, but rather when we are engaged in a meaningful challenge, stretched to the limits of our abilities. It is a recognition that the stillness we so often seek is found in the motion of creativity and performance. And because it is an active state, it is within our control.