Also referred to as being in flow, being in the zone, or becoming one with the flow. From Taoists to Stoics, people have talked about it.
Flow isn’t something that anyone can tell you how to do or get into, and the basic definition of flow is “complete merging with what you’re doing,” where you are so immersed you lose track of time and the real world all together – you are in a state of flow.
The dishes, the basketball game, painting, or just living are things that we do.
One of the reasons people turn to nootropics is to help them find or get into this flow state quickly. And they do help with that.
The word “flow” is so hard to define.
In positive psychology, a flow state, also known colloquially as being in the zone, is the mental state in which a person performing some activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by the complete absorption in what one does, and a resulting transformation in one’s sense of time.Flow (Psychology), Wikipedia
It’s like the thing everyone wants to do well, but when your brain chemistry and everything else falls into place effortlessly, and you may not even know that it happened until it’s over.
If you’re in a state of flow, the world seems to fade away. Putting all your energy into what you’re doing.
It’s like when you’re so focused on something that you don’t think about what’s coming next, like when you’re working out or giving a speech.
Everything seems to go together without a hitch.
When you’re in a state of flow, what is going on?
Besides the philosophical explanations, how can we explain why some nootropics can make this feeling even better?
These are some of the questions that a new study tried to answer. It put people in a flow state and looked at their brain activity through MRI scans to figure out what was happening behind the scenes.
No one part of their brain works when people are in a flow state. Instead, the regions can communicate in a vital network setting.
The brain parts that make up the network can be close together, but they can still connect to the features farther away in a modular way.
It happens when people in states of flow see these modular networks become uber-efficient at transmitting data from one to the other. This occurs when people learn how to channel the flow state even when doing everyday things.
The brain can also change these modular networks to stay flexible when doing a lot of hard work.
It looks for the most efficient way to get to where you want to go in the brain. There are no unnecessary connections to be cut out, so the path can be streamlined into a clear one.
Video games with game controls or on a PC were played by 140 people during the study.
Tests: When they were in a state of flow, their brains used less energy, and they didn’t get distracted.
These previous studies show that if people work on one thing simultaneously, their response time to distractions slows down.
Some nootropics can help you get into a state of flow by making these connections stronger, blocking out distractions, or relaxing your body so you can direct your mind to where you want it to be.
A new goal for yourself or a skill you want to learn could be to reach this flow state.
If you think everything is more accessible when you’re in a state of flow, you’re right. It’s even more accessible in your brain.