Yesterday was the first class of a new Positive Psychology course I teach at City University.
We looked at flow, the experience of enjoyable and performance-enhancing absorption in whatever you are doing. If you can identify where you get flow in your daily life, then you can prioritise and schedule more of these activities. You can also try to create new flowful activities. Here is a guided discovery I used to help people find more flow. You might like to try it yourself.
Think about times when you have been fully absorbed in your life. Occasions when you have lost track of time, when you have felt completely up to the challenge faced, when you have forgotten everything else but what you were doing.
Children are very good at finding flow, so think back to when you were a young child. What games did you play? What did you do with friends? On your own? Bring back to your mind the memories of things you used to enjoy as a child, and relive those memories as if you were back there doing them. Spend a few moments replaying yourself being totally lost in your play when a child.
We also often get flow in our hobbies and games. What hobbies and pastimes did you used to enjoy? Maybe things that you loved doing, but don't do so much now? This might be a sport, or a game, or an activity like cooking or dancing or walking or yoga. Bring back to your mind the memories of these activities and replay in your mind doing these flowful activities. Really feel in your body what it is like to engage in that absorbing activity.
Now think about your current life. Its a fact that people get more flow in work than leisure. So recall right now the last time you were really absorbed at work. What were you doing? Where were you? Who were you with? How did that feel? Once more, replay that experience in your minds eye.
Now think about the next few days and how you might do these or similar activities. Sometimes they require effort to set up - for example travelling somewhere, or to arrange an activity with other people. What are the obstacles to your finding flow, and how can you overcome the obstacles? What is the first step you can do so that you can find more flow in your life?
This guided discovery is available as a free download to help you get the feelings of flow and also, in your mind, a range of flow activities.
The next step is to schedule some of these flow activities in your daily routine. How can reading this post lead to you gaining more flow today and tomorrow. I hope it can make a positive difference
To listen to the free finding flow download, click here