Welcome To A New Season!
Life is funny, isn’t it?! While I was living in Bulgaria, I was so stressed with life. I had a couple coaching clients, but I still didn’t feel completely fulfilled with what I was doing. But I still trusted the Universe and knew what was meant for me would show up. And sure enough, it did!
Within a few days, I was hired by THREE people to help with their businesses! I’m not even kidding – it was wild how quickly it all unfolded. So life certainly picked up and I didn’t have as much time to devote to my podcast – so we’re calling this a new season!
In this episode, I share how my digital nomad journey took a quick turn. Be sure to listen for more details on being in the flow and how to get into it. I also share my personal examples of what gets me into the flow the best.
What Is The Flow?
Being in the flow refers to a state of optimal experience in which you are fully immersed in an activity and fully engaged in the present moment. It is a state of effortless concentration and enjoyment; you’re fully absorbed in the task at hand and are able to perform to your full potential.
The concept of being in the flow was first introduced by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, who described it as a state of “optimal experience” in which a person is fully engaged and energized by an activity. In this state, you quite literally lose track of time and your surroundings, and are completely focused on whatever you are doing.
8 Characteristics of Flow
There are 8 characteristics of flow that Csikszentmihalyi has defined:
- Total immersion in the activity you are focused on
- A clear understanding of the goals and rewards involved
- A sense of time either speeding up or slowing down
- Enjoyment of the activity for its own sake
- A feeling of ease and effortlessness in the task
- A balance between the challenge of the task and one’s own skills and abilities
- A merging of actions and awareness, without self-conscious rumination
- A sense of control and mastery over the task
In other words, magic. 😉
How To Know When We’re In The Flow
There are several signs that you may be in the flow, or in a state of optimal experience. Some of the signs include:
- Complete concentration on what you’re doing: When you are in the flow, you are fully immersed in the activity and are able to block out distractions.
- Entering a ‘time vortex’: Time may seem to either speed up or slow down, as you lose track of it while engaging in the task.
- Intrinsic enjoyment: You are enjoying the activity for its own sake, rather than for external rewards or recognition.
- Effortlessness and ease: The activity feels effortless and natural, and you’re able to perform to your full potential.
- Balance between challenge and skills: The task is challenging enough to be engaging, but not so difficult that it becomes frustrating or overwhelming.
- Merging of actions and awareness: You are fully present in the moment and are not self-conscious or worried about the past or future.
Have you ever gotten so hyper-focused while journaling, running, or cooking a meal? To the point that someone could be shouting your name in the distance and you may not even notice them? That’s the flow, baby. Remember that the flow state is subjective and may vary from person to person, and sadly it’s not possible to be in the flow all the time (ugh!).
How To Get Into The Flow
So we can’t be in the flow all the time, but there are definitely ways to get into the flow easily if that is our desire. To achieve a state of flow, it’s important to find activities that are meaningful and engaging to you; it’s also helpful to to set clear goals and challenges. Most importantly, it’s imperative that you be fully present in the moment and to let go of distractions and negative thoughts. So put your phone away! Practicing mindfulness and focusing on the present moment can help to cultivate a sense of flow every single day.
There are many different activities that can lead to a state of flow, or optimal experience. It’s important to note that the activities that lead to a state of flow may vary from person to person, so you have to find what is best for you. Some people find that they are more likely to experience the flow state while engaged in physical activities such as sports, dance, or exercise. Others may find that they are more likely to enter the flow state while engaged in creative activities such as art, music, or writing.
In general, activities that are challenging but not too difficult, and that provide a sense of accomplishment and progress, are more likely to lead to a state of flow. It is also important to find activities that provide a sense of purpose or fulfillment.
Here are a few examples of my favorite activities that always lead me to the flow state:
- Journaling in the morning while listening to music
- Going on a walk while listening to a podcast
- Writing blog posts like this one (I’m currently in the flow, oh yeeeeah!)
- Doing a yoga workout
- Sitting in a park and people-watching (the flow doesn’t have to be anything physical)
- Working on miniature dollhouses
- Going on a hike
- Planning and creating lists
Let’s Get In The Flow!
Take some time and write down your favorite activities that are likely to get you in the state of flow. Then if you’re ever in a funk, refer to this list and you’ll quickly get in the zone! It truly is a magical place to be!