Flow yourself happy!

How your mood relates to how you work and live.

Can you remember the last time you have been so involved in something that you forget time, place and yes even yourself? You had so much joy while doing it that you didn’t want to stop and everything else just didn’t matter? This is called the state of flow, some people also name it as being in the zone or optimal experience. This state is not only highly enjoyable it’s also connected to high performances and well-being.

The scientists Fritz and Avsec investigated 2007 the connection of flow experience and subjective well-being during different musical activities among 84 music students.

In the study, participants were asked to answer self-reports based on the named dimensions of flow referring to pleasant music experiences as well as life satisfaction, negative and positive emotions. Those reports entail for examples statements like “In most ways my life is close to my ideal.” The results showed that characteristics of the flow state like clear goals, a challenge-skill balance, concentration on a task and autotelic experience are predictors of positive emotions like joy and happiness. If there is an imbalance of challenge and skill it is also predicting negative emotions like anger and fear.

So, next time you work on something, keep in mind to have clear goals and a challenge-skill balance to foster your state of flow and flow yourself happy!

Fritz, B. S., & Avsec, A. (2007). The experience of flow and subjective well-being of music students. Psihološka Obzorja / Horizons of Psychology, 16(2), 5–17.

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