Have you ever found yourself so absorbed in a task that you completely lost track of time? Maybe you were reading a good book, playing an instrument, working on a puzzle or craft, playing a board game, gardening, cooking, or tackling a home improvement project. If so, you may have found your “flow”.
Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, author of the book Finding Flow, describes flow as an authentically happy state of engaged activity that interests and challenges you.
Flow looks different from person to person based on individual interests, but the concept is the same- it is a place where you effortlessly become fully immersed in what you are doing and “lose yourself” in the moment. Some may refer to flow as being “in the zone” or in “ecstasy”, as flow is intrinsically rewarding. In other words, finding yourself in a state of flow is a reward in itself! As such, finding your flow may benefit your mental health.
In his book Thrive: Finding Happiness the Blue Zones Way, Dan Buettner suggests setting up a flow room at home as one strategy to boost your chance for long term happiness. This room may include:
- A table to accommodate family or individual projects
- Books rather than clocks, TVs, computers and other electronic devices
- Aesthetic appeal, including good light and comfortable furniture, so you’ll be drawn to spend time in it
Other strategies Buettner suggests for creating a home that encourages happiness include establishing a quiet space for meditation, as well as setting up areas or displays that remind you of people, accomplishments and events of which you are proud. These environmental cues may prompt the practices of mindfulness and gratitude, which hold numerous physical and mental health benefits.
What will you do to find your flow and experience happiness for health? Let us know by leaving a comment in the box below!