10+ Activities to Help Attain a Flow State

The great news is that sometimes, attaining a Flow State is as simple as doing what you love. Pick an activity that you can see yourself enjoying, from windsurfing or horse-riding to composing music or dancing.

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Example questions include:

I value Flow most because it…

Inspires me to solve challenges creatively;
Lets me feel like I’m at one with everything that’s happening;
Is about the only time I can turn off my ‘to-do’ list;
Lets me share amazing moments with others.

I find myself in Flow most often…

Alone or with a tight crew who can keep up;
With people so we can build off each other’s energy;
When I’m by myself so I can focus deeply;
In serene settings where I feel connected to something bigger than myself.

I find Flow when…

My heart’s beating, adrenaline’s pumping and it’s make or break time;
We’re all swept up in the moment together and feel connected to something bigger than ourselves;
Everything’s beautiful and effortless—things happen perfectly;
Hours go by and I lose myself in my work and come up with something amazing.
The activity will lead you to more activities you can get engaged in to attain a Flow State, by revealing your ‘Flow Profile’. The following are some example profiles.

Hard Charger – in this case, your activities will include:

“…adventure sports. Skiing, snowboarding, surfing, skydiving, mountain biking, MMA, rock climbing, racing, and paintball all deliver the intensity you seek. You favor non-traditional, off-the-beaten-path travel. You’re less interested in itineraries than you are in cultural immersion.”

Flow Goer – your activities may encompass things such as meditation, yoga, and retreats, ecstatic dance, and other soul-searching activities.

Deep Thinker – attaining a Flow state is often related to activities such as recharging from activities, gardening, hiking, playing a musical instrument, and reflection.

There are more Flow profiles to be found on the Flow Genome project, as well as dozens of ideas for activities you can get involved in.

We’ve also included some of the most popular physical activities below:

Yoga – controlled breathing and a quiet setting are great conditions for focusing your thoughts on what you’re doing in the present, here and now. With the right challenge to skills ratio in terms of balance and stretching, some find yoga is very conducive to attaining a Flow state;

Swimming – if you’re one who enjoys slightly more intense physical activities, swimming lets you concentrate on your technique, breathing. Plus, there are few distractions when you’re physically in the water;

Running – challenge levels are very straightforward to set when you’re running, allowing you to find the ideal balance with your abilities for attaining a Flow state. If you find that you sometimes tend to ‘self-talk’ while running, or think things over, it may help to listen to music or a good audiobook; and

Rock climbing – this activity featured quite frequently in Csikszentmihalyi and others’ earlier research, thanks to its ability to provide a flexible blend of physical exertion and focus.