What is a Flow State? Scientifically speaking, flow state is a state of consciousness where the Pre-frontal cortex shuts down and gives way to flow; the pre-frontal cortex is our reasoning logical mind hence, it is susceptible to fear and could be risk averse because it is concerned with the outcome or the future and it may also inhibit the flow-state where it totally thrives in the present moment.
The pre-frontal cortex’s major function is decision-making and planning, minimizing if not totally eliminating risk, while being in the flow state is quite the opposite because it thrives on risk. Yet, ironically it may seem, having the decision-making qualities of the pre-frontal cortex and the risk seeking qualities of the one in flow state should co-exist so that peak performance is achieved.
As the prominent psychologist during the early twentieth century, Dr. Robert L. Kramer said, “All thoughts and no action is powerless.” In the same way as all action with no forethought is foolish, but it is said to be better to err on the side of the latter than to be powerless. However, the author advocates the two and its integration of mind, body and heart. But in this blog, we shall focus on the flow state.
Flow state is between the Theta and Alpha state (7hz – 9hz). It where you are relaxed yet your senses are heightened not with fear but with clarity and awareness, flow-state is the integration of mind, body and heart. It is the highest level of performance anyone can attain when you simply lack the self-consciousness in accomplishing an activity and become one with what you are doing.
There are many accounts of great achievements that were accompanied by a flow-state. In the field of athletics, where an athlete is faced with a task risky enough to lose his limb or even his life such as the extreme sports as when one would attempt to jump a tall ramp using a skateboard and would make him airborne for a few seconds and during those moments when he is airborne his senses are aware that every millisecond he is on the air could be his last yet that fear is transmuted into a feeling of courage and calmness enough to make his faculties (physical and mental) heightened to stretch it and go beyond the commonly perceived limits.
But can we experience flow state even without attempting to jump a tall ramp using a skateboard or sky jump from one plane to another? Absolutely! Achieving the flow state is not only reserved for extreme athletes like the one mentioned, flow state can be achieved and in fact it must be a way of life to be able to experience life at its fullest. Flow state can be used in daily situations like studying, reading a book, learning a skill, interacting with people, writing, teaching, leading, emailing, doing a technical job in the computer, cleaning the house and in practically everything that we do.
Although the trouble with most of us is we do things just to get by or in other words just to say we have done something or finished something then we become self-satisfied. We equate busyness with achievements and nothing could be further from the truth. We may be busy and people may see us that we are achieving something and yet we are not effective. It is not the number of things that we have finished but the quality of what we are doing that determines their effectiveness. And we can only achieve this effectiveness when we put our whole being into the present moment and immerse ourselves into flow state.
Doing something in the flow state is aligning yourself with the Vibrational energy of the universe. It supports you and gives you power that you wouldn’t think was possible when you’re not in flow state.
It practically increases your efforts ten folds. Only those who are constantly in the state of flow can command favorable outcome on their work and be rewarded large amounts financially and break world records. Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, Felix Baumgartner, Paulo Coelho and so many successful achievers thrive in this flow state. You also can by becoming best at what you do and overcoming failures and discouragements along the way until you develop that muscle memory and until you become less self-absorbed and less self-conscious and enter into your flow state.