Flow Makes You Happy

If you want to be happy, you need to let everything in your life flow.
Flow Makes You Happy

Last update: 16 March, 2022

In order to achieve happiness, you shouldn’t stay too long in the same place. However, this doesn’t mean you should keep moving house, it’s more to do with continually changing and improving yourself. In fact, according to psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, who was Professor of Psychology and Management at Claremont University (USA), we should be in a constant state of ‘flow’, where pleasure and enjoyment are the rule and not the exception.

Have you ever thought why, when you’re having a great time with your partner, your friends, or your children, time seems to literally fly? Although there’s no scientific explanation for it, the truth is that happiness makes you focus on other things. Satisfaction doesn’t let you sit still, it helps you flow.

As Csikszentmihalyi pointed out, many people spend their lives being worried or bored. Fortunately, you can become part of another team. This is the team of the people who flow. Flow means that, when you become completely immersed in an activity for its own sake, it makes you happy.

As a matter of fact, whenever your mind isn’t activated in this way, you often get bored and carried away by negativity. Rather like you feel on a wet and depressing Sunday afternoon.

A happy woman who's adopted the Danshari method.

Flow

The concept of flow makes you more aware of what makes you happy. The aim is to constantly be in that state of satisfying and pleasant euphoria. Perhaps you think that this isn’t possible but many are experiencing it right now, while you’re reading this article.

In order to reach the state of flow, where everything is as wonderful as a fairy story (except it’s real), you need to look at each task as if it were a game. For instance, if you feel that your work is monotonous, use your imagination to make it fun. You could do it in a different way or invent a technique to entertain yourself. Anything, in fact, to avoid becoming overwhelmed by monotony.

In addition, you need to ensure you set an achievable goal and, once you reach it, move on to another goal. That’s a great way to flow. Nevertheless, you must be careful, because not everything in life depends on fulfilling your dreams, it also involves enjoying the way you make them come true. This means that, although you have to be focused on your arrival point, don’t forget to look at the scenery along the way.

Success requires dedication

This ties in with another piece of advice offered by Dr. Csikszentmihalyi which is, that the more you seek success, the more elusive it’ll prove to be. Indeed, contrary to what tends to be believed, success and happiness are a consequence of real effort and dedication, not of a sudden whim or fancy. In other words, you must really want to be successful and to see it as something bigger or more rewarding for you. You mustn’t only have the intention of obtaining more power or money for the sake of it. This won’t make your life happy, it’ll do the exact opposite.

At what age are people usually happiest?

Keep in mind that in order to achieve this state of flow, you must learn how to control your mind. This may be hard but it’s not impossible and nobody but you can do it. To achieve it, when you find yourself speaking in a way that you don’t like or that you know won’t lead to a good outcome, clear those thoughts away, just as the wind blows the clouds away.

From then, you’ll find your thoughts and actions begins to be more like the water of a river and not like that of a pond. This liquid has the ability to take any shape, knows no rigidity, and gives life. You’ll be able to travel along your paths, through valleys, mountains, and forests, dodging obstacles along the way. However, never, under any circumstance, should you ever stop flowing.

It might interest you...
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
Exploring your mind
Read it in Exploring your mind
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is one of the most successful psychologists. His concept of flow, or optimal experience, has been applied all over the worl...