Relaxation is so important. It would be silly to ignore the fact that a substantial part of Silent Mind’s mission involves helping people unwind, so they can heal.
But that isn’t enough for people who find fulfillment in accomplishing something. People who want to feel better so they can achieve more. What these people really want is to access the Flow State.
What is the Flow State?
There are many ways one could describe being in a flow state, but for right now, let’s call it an enjoyable effort. In a flow state, you can focus. You are consumed with reaching a goal, yet it is not a stressful endeavor. Time ticks away, and you’re not watching the clock.
You are fully present. When you’re done, you have something to show for it. It could be that you read a book, planted a whole row of seedlings, or painted a room. No matter the end result, you lost yourself in a task.
However, it wasn’t really the self that got lost. It was the internal chatter of warnings and doubts, a dialogue that not only becomes distracting but opens us up to becoming distracted by other things.
A flow state is a moving meditation. It expands your ability to feel hopeful, happy, and confident. Best of all, the work you do while inflow can be truly great.
How to Achieve Flow State
If only we could live our best lives in a never-ending flow state, right? Like other matters of the mind, you have to practice achieving flow.
Eventually, you’ll be able to spot flow state opportunities easier, and you won’t have to work as hard to get into it. Here are some tips to get you off the ground.
Remove external distractions.
It’s tough enough conquering the internal distractions. Remove external ones for a nice short cut to your flow state. Turn off your phone, close your door, or wear noise-canceling headphones. You’ll know what’s best for the task at hand.
At first glance, the flow state seems like the busy person’s substitute for regular meditation practice. The truth is, people who meditate are better at slipping into the flow of things. So, keep meditating daily and learning how to quiet the mind.
You might even focus on the sound of your singing bowl before attempting to enter a flow state. After all, singing bowls are the traditional way to open and close anything we do with intention.
Respect your patterns and preferences.
Do not try and force yourself to enter a flow state when you’re simply not up to it. For instance, if you’re not a morning person, your chances of suddenly being creative and productive at 6 a.m. aren’t as great. Try the afternoon instead.
The same goes for times when you know you’ll be more prone to distraction. If you’re hungry or expecting important phone calls, put flow off until later.
Identify the task clearly.
Why is our work so great during the flow state? Because we’re not multitasking. To enjoy a successful flow state, your activity must meet two criteria.
First, it has to be a singular task. One project, one fantastic result. Two, it has to challenge you enough to hold your attention. Entering the flow state while doing something incredibly easy is tough. Our minds know we can handle more, and start seeking distraction.
How do you get ready to enter the flow state? What’s the best thing you achieved while going with the flow? Share in the comments below, and let us know if you find these tips helpful.
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