Many people ask themselves if there is a recipe for happiness? And despite the fact that each person may feel them differently, researchers looking at people’s behavior and feelings notice certain patterns. This field is called positive psychology, and one of its leading representatives is Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, author of the book , “Flow. How to improve the quality of life” and creator of the title concept in English called flow. It was he who noted that humans feel best in a state of flow and winging it. So what is flow and what does it consist of?
The recipe for happiness - does it exist?
This is the optimal state of consciousness that occurs when we are completely absorbed in the activity at hand and maximally focused. Our actions become more fluid and efficient, our sense of self and awareness of the passage of time fades. Productivity increases several times, everything seems to come easily to us. Each of us has probably experienced this condition in our lives, but can we help it appear more often?
clear target and quick feedback
Wanting to achieve a state of flow, we must, to begin with, take care of the clear goal we want to reach. When we have it clearly in front of our eyes, it will determine the order of our individual steps on the way to its realization. This will allow us to focus on the present moment, avoiding idle considerations of the past or future. By dividing an ambitious goal into small steps, we support our focus and attentiveness. It is also important to provide feedback as soon as possible. It helps to reinforce in us the feeling that we are on the right path. Later we write down the recipe for happiness.
Challenges that can stimulate a state of flow must be ambitious, but not surpass our skills. If the task set before us is too easy – boredom sets in, while if it is too difficult – paralyzing anxiety can set in. It should require our efforts to arouse curiosity, the desire to use our own skills and provoke the development of competence, but remain within our capabilities.
risk and rich environment
The ability to focus is also affected by an awareness of the seriousness of possible consequences, whether physical, such as loss of health or life, or psychological (being spurned, ridiculed). When we play for high stakes and know that we are taking a risk, our attention increases. A rich environment, or one where novelty, complexity and unpredictability intersect, works similarly. It is worth trying to get an influx of new stimuli, which are a nourishment for creativity and a state of flow.
The recipe for happiness is a completely individual matter. Even if it’s not perfect, the important thing is that it is! Thanks to him, a person finds the way and the purpose of this journey. The commitment and motivation that he puts into it make an internal balance appear, and consequently, happiness.