Updated: Mar 27, 2021
You’ve heard it said before “I’m in the flow”, “She was in the zone (another word for flow)” or “just go with the flow”. But what exactly does it mean to “flow”?
According to psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, flow is a mental state where a person is a hundred percent absorbed in and engaged with an activity they find both pleasurable and satisfying. When “in the flow”, a person is fully present, fully focused, fully immersed and thoroughly enjoying whatever it is they are engaged in. Their mind is in one place and one place only, and focused on only one thing.
Hypnosis, not dissimilar to flow, gives your brain the deep level of relaxation it needs for attention restoration to occur. An induced state of intense absorption, hypnosis improves your ability to stay focused for longer periods by training your mind to tune out unwanted noise and attend to statements and imagery that promote positive transformation.
Most artists, writers, sports people and business leaders understand that their best performances occur when they plan and execute from a state of flow.
Getting into a state of flow however, is not easy for many of us, especially in the digital age when our attention is being pulled in many different directions in any given moment. In his book “Deep Work”, Cal Newport writes about the importance of filtering out distractions in order to get into the flow.
“If you keep interrupting your evening to check and respond to e-mail, or put aside a few hours after dinner to catch up on an approaching deadline, you’re robbing your directed attention centres of the uninterrupted rest they need for restoration. Even if these work dashes consume only a small amount of time, they prevent you from reaching the levels of deeper relaxation in which attention restoration can occur,” he writes.
Hypnosis, not dissimilar to flow, gives your brain the deep level of relaxation it needs for attention restoration to occur. An induced state of intense absorption, hypnosis improves your ability to stay focused for longer periods by training your mind to tune out unwanted noise and attend to statements and imagery that promote positive transformation. In delineating the mechanisms of hypnosis, James Braid, a pioneer of modern hypnosis, emphasises the importance of monoideism – the concentration of the mind, or fixation of the attention, on a single idea – in the hypnotic experience. In hypnosis, your mind is much more inclined to fixate on messages and statements that improve your overall wellbeing and quality of life.
With each hypnosis session, the hypnotherapist takes you into a flow state so you can engage your mental and emotional resources with singularity of purpose to bring about positive change. Because you are so deeply relaxed in hypnosis, it becomes much easier to tune out internal and external distractions, lower your worry-dial and simply focus on suggestions that help you think, feel, behave and live in the way that you’d like to. By facilitating a flow state, hypnotherapists give their clients the skills they need to more quickly and easily enter states of flow and to continue doing so long they’ve left the therapy space.
Knowing how to quickly enter and remain in a state of flow is a valuable tool for increasing creativity and productivity, and improving social confidence and interpersonal relationships. At Rescript Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy, you’ll experience this optimal mental state then learn how to generate and sustain more flow states in your day to day life.