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Flow is a state of mind when we are so absorbed in an activity that we lose all track of time and effort.
Flow happens when we are doing an activity that embraces our skillset with several challenges we are able to overcome only by stretching ourselves. And we feel good when we conquer each challenge.
People who are in flow can keep going for a long time without experiencing cognitive fatigue. They report feeling calm and detached from negative emotions.
In a study, volunteers had more sympathetic activity in a state of flow, meaning they were more alert and mentally sharp. They had demonstrably less activity in the amygdala, a brain region involved in emotion-processing.
To get into flow, find an activity you can do with some effort. The challenge should meet your skillset without making you feel overwhelmed or bored.
If your mind is flooded with negative thoughts, then getting into flow can help you detach from emotional reactivity.
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Work tasks are rarely chosen by you, so they rarely have optimal difficulty. To make them more likely to produce flow:
You tend to start daydreaming spontaneously when you don’t have something harder to do. To make boring tasks more engaging: