A few years ago, I spent some time in Denmark researching happiness in the classroom and the concept of 'flow'. It's a beautiful country with a wonderfully relaxed attitude towards life - with the only downside for me being too few desserts (not a single one was offered the whole time I was there!). Anyway, the idea of flow was being applied everywhere, and I was there to find out how to apply it to schools in the UK. It's a concept that has stayed with me since then. Put simply, it can be explained like this:
If we are actively involved in trying to reach a goal, or an activity that is challenging but well suited to our skills, we experience a joyful state called 'flow'. The experience of flow in both professional and leisure activities leads to increased positive affect (your mood and outlook), performance, and commitment to long-term, meaningful goals.
Have you ever found yourself immersed in a moment, completely unaware of the time? When does this loss of time and total engagement typically occur for you? Many activities, such as sport, playing an instrument, or teaching, can produce the experience of flow. According to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a pioneer of the scientific study of happiness, flow is a type of intrinsic motivation. In his words, "You do what you're doing primarily because you like what you're doing. If you learn only for external, extrinsic reasons, you will probably forget it as soon as you are no longer forced to remember what you want to do."
For me, flow comes when I'm in the veg patch, out walking, or reading a really gripping book - time really flies when I'm immersed and my sense of well-being increases hugely. What about you? Where have you found your flow? I'd love to hear from you!
Speaking of walking, here's a photo from my trip to the Peak District and Chatsworth last weekend - flow in action!
Hi, I'm Joanna from Clean Well-Being.
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