A Joyful Light Experiences Flow
‘Tis the season or ‘Tis the stress?
Alright for positive psychology sake, let’s ‘Tis the season.
During this time of year where do we find joy and how do we keep a positive perspective?
I have one recommendation from one of my favorite doctors.
Dr. Cziksentmihalyi recommends being in a state of flow.
Yes, “Flow Theory”, you want to hear more right?
Yes, of course you do.
Have you ever gotten so lost in an experience that time slips away from you. I’m sure you have.
Think of an activity that brings you pure joy, you have a goal to get better and you are getting lost in the moment.
Do you have it?
It could be a variety of things maybe a deep conversation with a friend, reading a book, working out, roller skating, sailing, or playing music.
Why am I so interested in this? Well, I’ve been teaching “Flow Theory” for years in recreation and leadership curricular and co-curricular experiences for twelve years.
Okay, back to our goal for this post.
What is Flow Theory?
How do we experience joy in a state of flow?
Dr. Cziksentmihalyi defines flow as “a state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter; the experience is so enjoyable that people will continue to do it even at great cost, for the sheer sake of doing it.” (Cskikszentmihalyi, 1990, p.4) He identifies a number of different elements involved in achieving flow:
For me, engaging in weight training I find that I experience the majority of elements listed above. I have clear goals (eg. increasing amount of weight to lift, tracking overall inches lost), immediate feedback (eg. ability to lift more than the day before), balance between challenge and skill (eg. trying a new exercise to work a specific muscle group), distractions are excluded (lost in my Toby Mac jams), and time is distorted (OMG! I’ve already been here an hour, I need to get home and take a shower, haha)
Flow Is producing a stronger self.
Flow leads us to self-actualuzation. We have a sense of fulfillment in our talents and our potential. We have the drive to reach our goals.
Flow leads to joy. We experience happiness and bliss.
Over the holiday season think about what activity brings you pure joy and make time for it.
For you... ‘Tis the season, not the stress.