Flow state on demand - 3 techniques to get in flow
The flow state is a mental state
where you operate at peak performance, tapping into yourself
fully and aligning all your resources to focus on the task in
hand. Being in flow is an enjoyable and rewarding
The flow state is essential for people who operate at the
highest levels. Olympic athletes are in flow - or in the zone,
as they call it - when they compete. They have to be in order
to be able to get a medal or break the world record. They could
not do it if they were not fully and completely focussed on the
task in hand. Being in flow is not just for athletes
If you have ever experienced flow - which I expect you have
- then you will know that it is a state that you want to
recreate. However you may be frustrated that you cannot easily
get into flow. Can you do it again?
Well the good news is that if you have done anything once
then the chances are very high that you can do it again. Back
to our Olympic athletes, they have to put themselves in the
zone on demand - the race won’t wait for them until they happen
to be in the right state - they have to create it.
If you don’t think that you have ever been in flow - or at
least you cannot remember what it was like, then take heart
from the fact that many people access the flow state in many
areas of their lives every day. If they can do it, you can do
it - we’re all basically the same.
Here are 3 slightly different techniques that have worked
for others - try them out and see which help you to access the
Accessing your flow triggers
If you have already been in flow and can remember what it
was like, then this technique is the easiest to try. You are
simply going to recreate the situation, meaning the feelings
and thoughts that put you in flow in the past. Now don’t panic,
thinking that you cannot remember exactly how it came about.
Your brain remembers - even if not consciously - just trust
that it will remember and allow it to access those cues
So to get in flow, close your eyes and take yourself back to
the time when you were last in flow. If you cannot think of a
time then ask your unconscious mind to remember for you and
trust that it will do so. Then hear what you heard, see what
you saw and feel what you felt. Feel as if you were back there
again and you were experiencing the state of flow. Now
intensify all those experiences and feelings, make the sounds
louder and the colours brighter. Enjoy the experience again.
Now search your memory for another example and repeat the
exercise. If you cannot remember one, then again ask your
unconscious mind to remember and to put you back into that same
state, experiencing what you saw and felt and heard more
intensely. When you are experiencing the flow state in your
mind, ask your unconscious mind to keep you in that state
throughout the day. Then open your eyes and staying with those
feelings begin to work on the task in hand.
Go with the flow
This second technique requires you to let go of your desire
to control everything and to literally go with the flow!
Instead of getting cross, angry and uptight with everything
that seems to happen to you - as if there was some external
force deliberately trying to make your life a misery - simply
accept that events will just unfold. Believe that you have the
resources inside of you to respond appropriately in any
circumstance. Trust yourself and stop trying to control the
Focus on accepting life as it comes and accepting the
feelings and thoughts that you have as a response. You can tell
yourself that it’s OK to feel how you are feeling. The feelings
will soon pass anyway whatever they are, just let them come.
Stop struggling and start accepting.
You should feel yourself relax and feel more present.
Then focus on being grateful for this moment and focus on
what is great about this moment, or this situation. If you
cannot think of anything then be grateful that you are starting
to learn about being in flow and how exciting it is that this
state will serve you both now and in the future.
Think what a wonderful life you will have being in flow
every day. Be joyful and thankful and then keep that feeling
with you throughout the day by remembering to let go and
Flow like a river
This third technique uses the word flow and builds on the
If you have not been in flow before, then this could help
you access it for the first time.
So close your eyes and imagine that you are standing in a
river. The water is flowing around you - so try and feel that
flow around you. Then the next part is to feel the flow going
through you as well as round you. Then finally when you can
feel that, allow yourself to be carried along by the river in
its flow. Effortlessly. You will feel part of the river, moving
freely and easily along in flow.
When you are experiencing that feeling of flow, open your
eyes and in this new relaxed state start to work on the task in
hand, trying to keep hold of that feeling of being in flow. If
nothing else you will feel relaxed!