What is the Flow State of Mind?
What is the flow state? If you’ve felt it then you’d know. If you haven’t, being in a flow state is hard to describe. While the idea was developed in the 1970’s by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, athletes have known of this phenomenon for far longer. In fact, in the sporting world, it’s known better as “being in the zone”. Regardless of what you call it, flow state is the optimal mindset which unlocks your true potential. “Flow state” is a psychological state of mind in which an athlete is 100% immersed in what they’re doing. It’s a period of time when all of the hours of training you’ve put in come together with all of your previous experiences. What manifests is a transitory period of time in which you are able to play at 100% of your ability and beyond. Being in the “flow state” All of your movements and decision-making seem to occur simultaneously with 100% harmony and fluidity; much like the way in which water is able to flow down any path regardless of what’s in front of it. During this time, time slows down as if to give you all the time you need to decide what you need to do and how to do it. While it may seem you are having a full-on debate inside your head, mere milliseconds pass before you must make another decision. Some will call this “being focused” but flow state is more than focused because when you’re in flow, you don’t have to even think. In fact, it’s not uncommon to hear athletes explain their extraordinary performance as “I wasn’t thinking, I just did it”. You become so immersed in what you are doing that your brain literally chooses to shut out anything of unimportance. However, being in the flow state isn't just for athletes. Have you ever been so locked into a task that you look up and hours have passed? Have you ever been so focused that you are oblivious to the outside world? You may have not known it then, but you my friend were lost in the flow state. Whether you're an all word athlete or your everyday, 9-5 worker engrossed in work, find your flow state and anything is possible.