The term flow comes from Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, who describes the feeling of complete absorption in an activity. The Flow experience is the experience of absolute well-being that arises in a challenging activity, similar to children who forget time and space while playing.
What is a flow?
Flow is therefore something like the ideal state of action. Usually, people do something, thinking of other things. When acting in flow, on the other hand, all energy is directed to activity at this moment. This exhilaration is what people call experiencing as floating or flowing, as if one were flowing through an energy.
We humans do many things that do not bring us anything subjectively. These include games with children, hiking, crafts and all other creative activities. All these occupations offer us no material reward, here is the motive in the activity itself justified or in the way of implementation. If the activity also has certain qualities, it can lead to a flow experience.
When we engage in such activities, neither time nor ourselves play a role, and action is effortless. When we are in the flow, our feeling, our will, and our thinking are in accord with these moments.
Flow is thus the desirable state of consciousness to fully develop in an activity and thereby to feel satisfaction, pleasure, joy and happiness.
Many activities can generate flow
Flow experience is often experienced through exercise during dance or sports, but also during a mental effort such. B. playing the chess or writing a letter.
By contrast, for example, television is a passive activity. Hobbies and friends are better, to spend his free time actively or in exchange with others. The following components are common in the activity of creating a flower, but not all components must be present at the same time:
- A sure feature of Flow is the fusion of action and consciousness. The undivided attention is entirely devoted to the activity. Distracting secondary thoughts do not occur. We act in harmony and connectedness with the world and are fully absorbed in the activity - fully absorbed in it. Our sense of time changes: one is completely oblivious to oneself, fades out perceptions that are not aimed at the activity - overhears eg. As noises or passes body signals. There is no time for self-inquiry - we are simple.
- If you want to switch off and relax at the same time, you have to deal intensively with the activity. To experience flow, therefore, a certain amount of energy has to be invested. Intensive engagement means making an effort.
- The task, the challenge, is in line with our abilities - it is neither too easy nor too difficult. For us to be attractive, the task usually has a very personal connection, which motivates us to act.
- The feeling that everything is under control in the situation is one of the important features of the flow experience. It does not matter if we are actually in control - our sense of control is critical. You just know what to do. The goal is clearly ahead of our "inner eye" and we know intuitively what we need to do to reach the goal.
- Another important feature of Flow is that you get feedback quickly, in both positive and negative terms. So you can always correct your course.
Short for Flow
Put in a nutshell, the situation of a flow feeling can be described as follows: One is so engrossed in a challenging activity that everything around you - even the worries about everyday life - becomes less important. One gets into a kind of self-forgetfulness and loses all sense of time. It is the familiar feeling that time flies by.