How do you achieve the Flow state?

“Each and every time we go to the pool we hope to catch it again. We can’t completely put words to what it was, but we can describe how it made us feel.

The way we caught the water in our hands. Our stroke was long, effortless, and powerful. With each turn we hit we exploded off the wall, gliding further and with less effort than ever before”.

Olivier Poirier-eroy is a former national level swimmer based out of Victoria, BC. In feeding his passion for swimming, he has developed YourSwimBook, a powerful log book and goal setting guide made specifically for swimmers.

That sensation has been detailed by researchers over the years, most notably psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, and can be most aptly described as ‘flow.’

To read the article in full and get a few tips to get you started so that you can enter that state of hyper-performance more often: click here

Research tells us that those who frequently experience flow states are;

  • More confident
  • More Self aware
  • More in control of their lives and interests
  • Higher achievers
  • More committed to reaching their goals
  • Having more fun

 

So, the question that follows is ‘how do I achieve this flow state?’ Is it simply luck, or can we create circumstances for ourselves that are likely to manifest this state of being?

Csiksentmihalyi’s Flow Theory describes moment to moment subjective experience, defined by the relationship between person (perceived skill level) and environment (perceived level of challenge), that is engaged in for the sole purpose of enjoyment. In other words, how we think and feel about our upcoming challenge determines how much joy, passion, and fun we have. There are four possibilities for approaching a competition. Remember though, this is all based on our perceptions of the task.

  1.  High Challenge + Low Skill = nervousness, emotionality, over-thinking -  It starts with Focus
  2. High Skill + Low Challenge = boredom and apathy - Flow likes challenges
  3. Low Challenge + Low skill = Asleep/disengaged - Log the moments where you get in the flow
  4. High Challenge + High Skill = Engaged, energized, and aware - It’s the journey

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