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flow sign at coffee shop with lots of plants

10 Flow State Activities To Feel More Focused

These activities will launch you into a peaceful state also known as flow.

Have you wanted to practice living in the present moment? Do you enjoy getting lost in a challenging activity? Do you want to lose yourself happily? If so, choosing a flow activity is exactly what you need to set yourself up for success.

What is a Flow State?

Flow can be described as a joyful state in which people are so absorbed in an activity that they lose track of time and their external environment. Imagine tiptoeing into another world where walls disappear, self-consciousness dwindles, time passes, voices fade, and yesterday’s challenges melt away.

In an idyllic flow state, you’ll find peaceful solitude, outdoorsy scents fresher than a Yankee Candle, and productivity that makes you feel proud. 

In case you weren’t aware, the term flow has been around for decades dating back to 1975 due to Mihály Csíkszentmihályi’s work; he was one of the original positive psychologists, although that field didn’t exist back then.

It’s important to note that flow activities are not misconstrued with leisure activities. Don’t get me wrong – watching T.V. can be relaxing, but it’s not productive; therefore, it does not induce flow. We are not zombie-like creatures during flow activities. Instead, we are productive energizer bunnies, tackling adventures from start to finish.

What conditions need to be met to enter a flow state?

According to Csíkszentmihályi, there are many considerations that must be met in order to experience flow. All of the elements are typically present during a prime flow state:

  1. The activity adds to one’s life and is challenging which makes it rewarding
  2. There is a healthy balance between easiness and challenge
  3. The activity is part of a broader goal or mission and is repeated over time
  4. People experience a lack of awareness as they drift into another world 
  5. There is strong concentration and focus involved
  6. The activity includes a strong learning curve
  7. There is immediate feedback involved
  8. The activity is action-oriented and requires undivided attention
  9. People focus intently on the activity and lose track of any sense of time

For most of my life, I found it difficult to focus on activities that required my undivided attention. I was scatter-brained and got lost in frenzied errands and endless to-do lists.

However, during quarantine in the early months of 2020, I was forced to slow down and initiate activities in the comfort of my own home. Months later, I found myself initiating endless activities that made me lose track of time. I decided to take it one step further and become more intentional with initiating activities that put me into a state of flow.  

I started an Annual NY Best Times Seller Book-a-thon. I practiced presence in the form of meditation. I created homemade aromatic bath bombs and gifted them. I planted an overflowing garden filled with herbs and veggies. I organized my closets and created a Hygge-themed office. And the list goes on…

Most importantly, I was proud of who I was and who I was becoming.

After a heavy pour of coffee, I made a vow to initiate more flow activities. While there are always tasks that linger, I’ve made it a habit to incorporate at least one flow activity per week, even if it’s just for 15 minutes. Take this from me – you can learn new skills at any age if you’re committed. The key ingredients are patience, practice, and inspiration. 

Droves of people are interested in seeking their own idyllic moments, but aren’t sure where to start. In addition, finding the perfect activity can be time-consuming. Luckily, I’ve made a list of activities that lend themselves to a state of flow easily so you can hit the ground running.

We’re delighted to share with you a list of escapades that will make even your mindfulness fanatics jealous. While there are thousands of peaceful getaways to get giddy over, we hand-selected options that put you into an instant meditative state which are also easy to complete.

Whether you want to try out photography, rock climbing, blogging, or painting, we have you covered.

Bring on the peace. Bring on the presence. Bring on the memories. 

Here are 10 activities that will put you into an instant sense of flow

1. Try a challenging yoga stance.

Create your own wellness experience while you focus on your chakras in complete solitude. It’s time to channel your inner yogi and perform a beautifully designed sequence of sitting and standing postures. As your breath flows in and out, your mental state will transform into a sense of calm you didn’t even realize was missing.

Whether it’s hot yoga, vinyasa yoga, or ashanta yoga, improve your flexibility as you improve your mental state.

2. Go for a long swim.

Whether you’re a novice or Olympic athlete, grab your goggles and go for a dip in a glistening pool, winding river, or nearby crystal blue lake. Imagine focusing on your strokes and breathing in and out from side to side while the external world fades away.

Are you ready to be at the forefront of peace? Grab your sunscreen, nostalgic tunes, and carefully curated picnic as you seek a moment of tranquility.

3. Take a bike ride to a new adventure.

Where have you been wanting to explore? How does a local farmer’s market filled with sweets and eats and luscious greens sound? Or, frequenting your favorite coffee shop? Maybe a nearby park filled with wildlife sounds more deal.

Whatever it may be, challenge yourself to travel by bike to make the occasion even sweeter.

Picture it in your mind…an adventure filled with challenging yet satisfying pedaling, moody clouds, inspirational podcasts, and a long winding road. Remember, it’ll just be you and the road.

4. Beautify your backyard.

Experience first-hand what it means to curate a farm-to-table experience.

Have you been dreaming about eating a salad from your backyard? Do you want to make a homemade mojito filled with emerald-green mint leaves from your backyard?

Try it for yourself – combining a bag of soil with seeds is one of the most meaningful activities. Your heart will flutter as you watch your seeds flourish into blooming plants, vegetables, and fruits. 

5. Write a poem or memoir.

Few things are more healing than putting pen to paper and allowing your thoughts to soar. What have you been feeling? What have you not put into words, yet? What have you always wanted to share with your beloveds?

Whatever it is, get lost in your own thoughts as you spill your heart out. Grab your pen and get into the zone. Your family and future followers will thank you!

6. Go on an adventure.

Do you want to visit all the National parks in your area? Do you want to view the top parks of your city? No matter the level, conquer a new trail filled with whispering, luscious green trees.

Plan for an unforgettable adventure filled with nature’s finest leaves, rocks, and solitude. All you pretend you’re a tourist and discover your local leading destination for outdoorsy activities. 

7. Show your creative side.

Decide for yourself what the buzz is all about and visit Michael’s Craft Store. Bolster your creative spirit as you tiptoe through quirky colors and activities, glitter in hand.

Whether it’s painting, drawing, or scrapbooking, get lost in an array of imaginative crafts. Initiating a creative project will almost automatically allow you to lose track of time. 

8. Get lost in a book adventure. 

While reading books is guaranteed to enter a state of flow, take it one step further by considering it a quest.

Suggested ideas include reading an entire series, cover to cover. Or, choosing 10 books from Goodread’s Top 100 Books of All Time.

You’ll enjoy transforming an ordinarily mundane hobby into an extravaganza. Grab your tea, head to your favorite local bookstore or library, and reacquaint yourself with the joys of solitude.

9. Cook up or bake a masterpiece.  

Watch an episode of the British Baking Show and then head straight to the kitchen. Cooking and baking are productive ways of getting lost in the moment. Pour a glass of red wine, turn on some class Dean Martin tunes, and whip up an aromatic adventure that soothe your taste buds. Those scones aren’t baking themselves!

10. Organize your belongings. 

Learn how the viral series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo inspired the entire world by highlighting meaningful items and discarding clutter. Head to your local Homegoods or Container store, grab a few systematizing containers, and transform your ordinary closet into the extraordinary.

Don’t you want to spark joy in every room of your home? You’ll thank us later.

The most important reminder of all

Once you’ve selected an activity that will cultivate more flow, you’re done right? Wrong! Now comes the hard part – actually carving out time to partake in the activity.

Despite the popularity and benefits of flow, many people still have difficulty incorporating them into our lives. Next time, you’re debating watching the next movie marathon or sparing a few minutes to get in the zone, remember this…

The best moments in our lives are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times… the best moments usually occur if a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Next steps

And there you have it! We hope you enjoy these transformational flow activities. We would love to know in the comments which one you’ve decided to pursue next and/or if you have suggestions on flow experiences that we missed!