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Don’t wait for the flow state. How you can achieve this state of balance intentionally

The flow state has lots of health benefits.

You know those magical moments when everything else in life fades away, and it’s just you and the task at hand? You’re so dialed in on a project or a moment that you lose track of time and think of nothing else. It’s called the flow state, and it has some pretty serious health benefits.

According to the website, Very Well Mind, the flow state “is associated with increased happiness, higher intrinsic motivation, greater creativity, better emotional regulation, among a long list of other positive effects.”

Dr. Allison Mangrum shared how to start incorporating this flow state into your weekly, or even daily routine. She believes you don’t have to wait for it to happen- you can make it happen!

 

The Science Behind the Flow State

Allison said that when you’re in the flow state, your brain functions differently than it does most of the time.

“Something super unique and I think super fascinating is happening in your brain.”

She went on to explain that two areas of the brain that we would think oppose each other actually light up at the same time. The first area is the central executive network in the frontal lobe of the brain, which makes us alert, attentive, and focused. The other area is the default mode of the brain, which is where we go when we’re daydreaming or just kind of zoned out. This combination results in a state where you’re productive and effective, yet calm, relaxed, and content.

The Benefits of the Flow State

“When you’re in this state and your brain is working this way, your brain is flooded with the happy chemicals. So, norepinephrine and dopamine just start flooding through the brain,” said Allison. This leads to feelings of satisfaction, happiness, and relaxation. Anxiety decreases, depression decreases, but we’re also very productive and very effective.

How to Achieve the Flow State

Achieving the flow state is like anything else – it requires practice and being deliberate. Almost any activity can get you into a state of flow, but it’s going to be very unique per person. The task has to require attention and effort from your part, but it can’t be so much attention and effort that you get frustrated or overwhelmed. Your skillset needs to match the challenge of the task. And it has to be something you enjoy doing.

The flow state is a powerful tool that can enhance our productivity, creativity, and overall well-being.

As Allison said, “After we’ve experienced flow, we feel energized, alert, awake. But the most beautiful part is we feel content and at peace.” So, challenge yourself to find those points in your day that can promote the flow and appreciate the benefits that come after.


Find more advice from Allison at meditatewithalli.com.

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