Did you know that adding flow to your life can lead to greater happiness?
The Hungarian Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Management at Claremont Graduate University in California, brought the idea of flow as a way to be happy to the general public in 1990.
What is flow and can it lead to happiness?
Flow is a state of voluntarily being fully immersed in an activity or process. Generally, these moments happen when you’re using your skills at their highest level.
Csikszentmihalyi stated that “the best moments usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.”
Flow helps increase your happiness by giving you a sense of personal control and deep-seated satisfaction.
Are the results only short-term?
While there are many short-term benefits, flow has also been scientifically demonstrated to strengthen mental performance, sharpen concentration, elevate self-esteem, and increase general well-being.
If you don’t feel like you’re skilled enough to enjoy flow, think again. The results of two studies revealed that “perceived challenge was a stronger predictor of enjoyment than perceived skill.”
You don’t need to be a master at something; you simply need to find it challenging and engaging.
What are the requirements for reaching a state of flow?
To increase your happiness by achieving flow, you need nine factors:
- A balance between a challenge and the necessary skills to successfully accomplish that challenge.
- A merging of the performed actions with the full awareness of the same actions.
- Clear goals about the activity to take place.
- Immediate and unambiguous feedback about what you are doing.
(This feedback stems from the results of your actions and is either positive or negative, exciting or boring, engaging or distracting, and so on.)
- You’ll find requirements 5-9 in my book, The 7 Secrets to a happier Life, on page 177.
If you don’t have my book, you can still find flow. Simply think of something you enjoy doing that challenges you or pushes you to grow, and then, do it.
For more information about creating happiness in your life or to buy my book, visit www.doctorjosegomez.com.