From OptimalScience

Activities which Induce Flow

  • According to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the following are some activities which can induce a flow experience[1]:
    • Physical activity
      • Herein, while the skills requisite for certain activities (e.g., sports and dance) might demand discipline and time, one can eventually delight in what one has trained one’s body to do.
    • Mental exercise
      • Subjecting our intellects to activity governed by a structure that provides goals, rules and feedback can bring order to the mind which otherwise would be characterized by chaos.
    • Lifelong learning
      • Endeavoring to understand what is happening around us and developing a meaningful interpretation of our experience can engender the exhilaration that defines flow.
    • Solitude
      • Learning to control our consciousness when we are by ourselves can gradually help us cultivate a creative life that does not need external stimuli to constantly fill an inner sense of emptiness.

Achieving Unified Flow

  • Additionally, according to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi[2], flow in one endeavor does not automatically guarantee flow in other activities. However, setting a sequence of meaningful goals, governing the contents of our minds with order, and integrating our actions into the pursuit of a higher purpose can help turn all of life into an optimal experience. Attaining such a state would invariably result in a more enjoyable state of mind which is better capable of weathering unexpected misfortune.


Ayesh Perera