Essay 1

Rubber Band: 

1. Explain the concept of flow including the factors necessary for someone to be in a state of flow. What are the benefits of flow? The text gives seven suggestions for increasing flow experiences in your life. Describe at least four of these suggestions.


What is flow?

Flow is a state of intense absorption and involvement with the present moment. You’re totally immersed in what you’re doing, fully concentrations and unaware or yourself. The activity you are performing is challenging and engrossing, stretching yours skills and expertise. When in flow, people report feeling strong and efficacious, at the peak of their abilities, alert and completely unself-conscious. They do the activity for the sheer sake of doing it. Complete absorption in what one is doing.

Benefits of Flow

It is pleasurable and fulfilling. Enjoyment is long-lasting and reinforcing, a positive high, positive, productive. We want to repeat them. It helps us make new goals. We are involved in life.

How of Happiness Ch. 7 pg 181-188

7 Ways to Increase Flow

Finding flow involves the ability to expand your mind and body to its limits, to strive to accomplish something difficult, novel or worthwhile and to discover rewards in the process of each moment.

1. Control attention: Your aim is to gain control over what you pay attention to. To gain control over the contents of your consciousness moment by moment. Control the quality of your experience. If the experience is too easy you get bored. Too hard and you get stressed and tense.
2. Adopt new values: Be open to new and different experiences. Learn until the day you die.
3. Study of people with beepers. Beepers would go off at random times during the day and they would stop what they were doing and answer questions about their behavior at the moment. They would complete several rating scales about how much they were concentrating and did they want to continue what they were doing, how happy, strong and creative they felt. While at work they spent time in high challenge, high skill situations (the situations that foster flow) and less time in low skill situations. They all felt like they should be doing something else while working. Even though they liked to spend more time in leisure activities, they were powerfully more positive during work hours. Many of us may not recognize when we are in flow.
4. Transform routine tasks

No matter what the task you can transform it into a flow experience. You need to create micro-flow activities with specific goals and rules. You could solve a puzzle in your head, draw cartoon characters, tap melodies to favorite songs, or compose funny limericks. It doesn’t matter what you do if it is unique o mundane as long as it is somewhat challenging and interesting and yields a richer, and less boring and stressful experience of daily life.

5. Flow in conversation

Are you frequently so interested in a conversation that you feel yourself step into a different reality, not noticing time passing or the sights and sounds around you? If not you can focus your attention as intensely as possible on what the other person is saying and your reaction to their words. Don’t be too quick to respond; rather give them the space to expand on their thoughts. Ask follow u questions. Set a goal of learning more about the speaker. What’s on their mind, emotions they are experiencing? Did you hear something you did not know?

6. Smart Leisure

Sometimes we feel like we don’t have enough leisure time. When we do what do we do with it? Sometimes it is important to decompose but when we spent too much time doing it you are vegetating and not doing anything productive. If you spend too much time in front of the TV you might begin to wonder where your time went. You had so much to do.

7. Smart Work

There are three ways to see work, as a job, a career or as a calling. A job is needed to support and is not positive or rewarding. A career is a job with advancement. It may not be a positive experience but will put more time into it to be advanced. People that see work as a calling report enjoying working and find what they do to be fulfilling and socially useful. They work not for the financial rewards or for advancement but because they want to; it is inseparable from the rest of their lives.