Continuing our discussion on flow, I want to delve into the concept of a high flow life. What’s its value? Earlier this week, we touched on how flow can impact your writing and what flow requires. However, I thought it would be beneficial to discuss why you might want to live a high flow life.
There’s a considerable amount of research on this topic, which I’ll link below, but I want to highlight a few things that make a high flow lifestyle particularly attractive.
First and most important to us as writers, high flow lifestyles foster increased creativity. If you often find yourself stuck in writer’s block, you probably need more flow. If you have good ideas that peter out and trail off into nothingness, you need more flow. If you’re ever faced with a problem and struggle to come up with creative solutions, you need more flow. Flow is a state where our brain makes connections optimally.
This means that you will never be more creative than when you are in flow. Learning to spend more time in flow and trigger the flow state more often will be beneficial. Everyone could use a little more creativity in their life, and flow is the fastest and best way to achieve it. This is because the chemicals in your brain that foster creativity appear more often during flow.
Additionally, the flow state reduces stress. Well, that’s not entirely true. It reduces bad stress while increasing good stress. Did you know there are different kinds of stress? Some stress is bad for you, while some is actually good for you. Creativity actually stems from stress. Our ability to problem solve and make connections is heightened during periods of specific kinds of stress. Flow produces this positive stress. However, you can’t spend all your time in a flow state because your body needs to relax and come down from that heightened state.
Just as flow produces good stress, it also decreases bad stress. This is partly because it focuses our attention on solvable problems, allows us to come up with solutions to problems we thought were unsolvable, and increases the amount of positive, mood-boosting chemicals in our body. While flow doesn’t change your situation, it often leads to action that changes your situation.
Speaking of focused attention, that’s another reason you might want a high flow lifestyle. Higher states of flow universally equate to better performance. If you see someone who is exceptionally good at something, a peak performer, they are guaranteed to be in flow more often than someone whose performance is subpar. They are in flow more often than average, and significantly more than someone whose performance is subpar. If you want to increase your performance in anything, but specifically as a writer, high flow states are a requirement. The more you can generate flow, the more you can produce, and the better your output will be. I don’t make the rules on this stuff; I’m just reporting it to you.
Finally, people who have high flow lifestyles are happier. This is not a debatable fact. People with high flow lifestyles report higher happiness across the board. There are many reasons for this, but the most observable one is that these people have tailored their life to what they truly enjoy doing. Flow is an activity that appears when we are enjoying the challenge of what we’re doing and making good progress. If you can live in that place of enjoying the moments of your life while also making progress towards your clear goals, that is a human’s happiest state.
As writers, it’s important to recognize that we don’t have to be tortured artists. We don’t have to struggle with our writing. Mental illness and depression, which are all too common among artists, can be replaced as a means of driving creativity. We don’t need drugs; our brain produces plenty of them. We don’t need tumultuous relationships; we can get our stimulation and challenge from the tasks we do.
The way to do it is through a high-flow lifestyle, optimizing the things we do and the way we do them to create an optimal experience on a daily basis. If you’re a writer and you’re finding yourself frustrated with your writing or finding it hard to do, then what you need is more flow in your life.
Links: Flow – https://amzn.to/46NRGt8
YouTube Video Link: https://youtu.be/3n2ww9S3rls
Thanks for reading and watching.
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