Why does flow matter to me so much and why it should matter to you too?
We’re still on Evolve, and last month we talked about what neurochemicals the brain releases when you’re in flow.
Flow state is an altered state of consciousness where thought and movement merge–you lose track of time, perform at your best, and feel like you’re floating.
This happens because of the release of dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, anandamide, and endorphins.
Let’s break down these neurochemicals bit by bit so you can understand why it matters.
Dopamine is associated with pleasure and reward. It’s a feel-good neurochemical that shows up when you accomplished something. It’s related to motivation, focus, memory, and productivity
Norepinephrine boosts memory and tightens focus
Serotonin promotes the feeling of well-being. It’s the neurochemical that’s associated with mood regulation
Anandamide is related to memory and pain relief. It has similar effects to CBD (cannabidiol) where it calms your nervous system and gets your body in homeostasis. It helps bring you to a state of equanimity
Endorphins are the body’s natural painkillers. It gets released during pleasurable activities such as massages or exercise.
Imagine having all these neurochemicals show up in your brain all at once?
The more you engage yourself in activities that get you into a micro flow or macro flow, the more it gets easier to get into flow the next time because your body already recognizes its flow triggers.
Why does this matter in peak performance and your journey toward evolution?
Because if you want to evolve, you need disruption in your thought patterns as a catalyst to–
generate new thoughts
create new thought patterns
create new connections with disparate ideas
This is when you get an “aha moment” when you get new insights, and you get excited about new ideas you can engage yourself in.
You can’t expect to evolve by doing the same things and having the same thoughts. Something has to change. And the best way to constantly evolve is to constantly disrupt your current way of thinking where you challenge yourself.
To get into flow, you need to engage in an activity that’ll challenge you. You should be in a state between boredom and anxiety. It shouldn’t be too easy that it bores you and not too hard that it overwhelms you. You want to stretch not snap.
The arbitrary percentage is 4%. The task or activity should be at least 4% more demanding than your current skill level. We call it the challenge-skill ratio.
So every day as you keep putting yourself in situations that are 4% more difficult than your skill level, when you look back you realize you’re now so far from where you started.
Flow has countless mental and emotional benefits. Dropping into flow daily transforms you, energizes you, and helps bring about a state of equanimity in your life.
Gamify the process.
Find a challenge that you are excited about–something that’s a bit beyond your current skill level where you have to stretch yourself but not snap.
Once you start incorporating those into your life, observe and notice what feelings it generates.
I hope you find this article helpful. Next month we’re going to talk about how to enter flow state and how to identify your flow triggers to help support your transformation and further evolution in building the person you want to become.
Remember, part of the evolution is losing yourself, then finding yourself, and ultimately building yourself.
Wherever you are in that journey, there are 3 ways I can help you:
Get deeper into your practice and work 1:1 with me - The Dojo
Learn more about flow state - Listen to the Chasing Flow State podcast
Work 1:1 with me through a Flow Lifestyle Redesign
If you have any questions, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org