How does creative Flow State help your Mental Health. Part 1
I have mentioned many times that one of the things I noticed during my recovery from anxiety, stress and depression during the last two years was that creating made me feel a bit better about myself.
It started just like that but then it became my ‘go to’ and then my ‘need to’ action when things felt really bad.
At the time I wasn’t sure why but with counselling and reading lots about it, I learned that getting yourself into a ‘flow state’ is really good for your mental health.
When you are in ‘flow’ your brain experiences serious changes. One benefit is that your brain has less activity, yes you heard right! In this state, the Pre-Frontal Cortex switches off and all our planning, order and rational thinking gets a break.
And in my case, all of that stopped when I started creating macrame pieces; all the stress, the massive lists of things to do and the fear of failure just vanished. And it felt like heaven! I was immersed. I was actually doing something instead of freezing at the thought of it.
Can you get into flow?
Of course you can. Anybody can. It is universal and everyone can access it. And this is where its magic is.
As with everything, you need to identify what it is that gets you into ‘flow’. It will be different for every single one of us.
My workshops are where I can share my passion and my flow with others. I try to plant the seed of fibre art into the class.
But your flow might not be found in macrame; yours might be cooking. Yes, cooking is a brilliant way of getting into flow, and then you can eat it!!!
Photo: Yute Celtic Note. Book: May the Thoughts Be With You by Charlotte Reed.
Now I want you to do an exercise. I want you to think of an activity that provides you with some of the main characteristics of the flow state:
It immerses you into deep concentration. You are totally into it. You don’t get distracted because you are ‘in the zone’. And yes, that includes not looking at your phone. You don’t care who is texting you or how many likes you have in your new IG post.
Therefore, you loose track of time. A bit like video games if you are into video games, of course. You start and then 3 hours have passed and you are still totally absorbed in it.
You love it. It has to feel good. Work is not flow. It becomes effortless because it feels satisfying. Unless of course, you love what you do for work, and then you are one of the lucky ones.
Have a think and please comment what that flow state looks like for you. I would love to find out more about you and your flow states.