Where Can You Find “Flow”? Answer That, and Uncover a Powerful Resilience Tool

January 3, 2018



Where can you find your own personal “flow”? Answer that question, and you will have a powerful resilience tool at your disposal.


The term “flow” was coined by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and defined as “the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity.”


You are experiencing flow when you get so lost in an activity that you lose your sense of time. Some call it being “in the zone.” Artists achieve flow when they get lost in the act of painting for hours at a time. Authors do this when they sit down, and the words come pouring onto the paper. Athletes achieve flow when they spend hours making slight corrections to their form.


Flow does not have to be some big, poetic, artistic, or athletic endeavor. You might find flow when cleaning the house, when working out, when cooking, when swimming, when playing Sodoku, or when coding video games.


It matters not what you are doing when you achieve flow, but it does matter that you identify something that captivates you so much that you become singularly focused on it. Finding those things that allow us to forget about everything else—if even for a few minutes—is an important aspect of resilience.


When you can pinpoint activities that allow the world, and your worries, to drop away, you have a powerful tool to use in times of crisis and to relieve the stresses of daily life.


When you feel yourself becoming flooded with emotions, or when you feel your head spinning and your thoughts running out of control, you can engage in activities that allow you to find flow. When you become completely absorbed by these activities, you will find temporary relief from your troubles. Your mind will clear, your body will become invigorated, and your emotions will soften. You can then deal with whatever is upsetting you with a clearer head and a calmed body.


So where can you find flow? Leave me a message in the comments section. I find it when running, writing, and working one on one with people in my private practice.


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