Reply To: How do you experience a “flow state”?

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Ninth
Participant
  • Type: TiSe
  • Development: l--l
  • Attitude: Directive

I used to experience a flow state when I was a painter.
In fact, I would paint not because I had any artistic inclination but rather because it was an immersive experience during which I could “reorganize” everything in my head without conscious effort. Painting required attention to details; you also have to “feel” the brush and the brushstrokes (not only look at the outcome), know your materials. While this may sound “occupying”, it came in fact “automatic”, and (in lack of better terms) my mind was almost empty while my body was very present.
I quit painting because I can’t experience that anymore, and I’m not interested in the activity itself.

Then there are these rare moments during which I feel like everything is perfectly aligned and balanced, especially in terms of extraversion/introversion. I perform better in general, even socializing is easier (I have social communication deficits); the “data stream” feels more readable and manageable. It usually happens after I’ve had a very abstract dream that involves successful engineering. I wake up feeling different, my thoughts are “tidy”.
What all of these occurrences share is:
– I feel very ‘present’ in the moment and aware of my surroundings and my body’s feedback
– perception is clearer, sharper (esp. sight, smell, meaning)
– better motor coordination
– higher pragmatism
– emotional awareness -> em. stability (i rarely experience emotions, but it can be hard to label / recognize them and react to them)
(most noticeable differences:)
– my voice becomes highly differentiated (expression is more animated) and I feel in control of it (like I know exactly what I’m doing)
– verbal language becomes more intuitive (usually I’m slow at processing what others say because i tend to take things literally)
– I’m more open to others! (They say I’m very difficult to know because I normally feel no need to share/express)
Sometimes, in addition, I will become creative. I think it’s because during these states “meaning” drops the backseat and comes as a closer fellow. I may appreciate art and want to review music/movies, even though it’s still not feely.

 

Usually, during the previous days I’m solving 3D puzzles (like Hanayama’s) and riddles or reading saisfyingly structured essays . I suspect this is my key.

I can relate to this:

If I wish to structure my thoughts, its a smooth process. Articulation streams out quite effortlessly […]. There is less subconscious chatter, and more experience of the world ‘as it is’. I feel calm, serene, safe, in harmony and accepting of the universe. There is a certain neutrality to this state, and a sense of emotional and mental alignment, and of an inner trust that combines tranquility with alertness.

 

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