Find your flowIn a follow-up to my post Finding Flow, here’s a sampling of activities that might help you find your flow:

  • Physical activities such as sports, yoga, dance, and martial arts
  • Outdoor challenges such as hiking
  • Music–writing, playing, mixing
  • Art–painting, sculpture, mixed media, pottery
  • Photography
  • Woodworking
  • Do-It-Yourself projects, such as home improvement
  • Working with animals
  • Gardening
  • Cooking and baking
  • Software development/coding
  • Scrapbooking
  • Writing
  • Needlework–sewing, knitting, cross stitch
  • Horseback riding
  • What you do for work (hopefully!)

Remember that “flow” activities are not interchangeable with “leisure” activities.  For example, visiting with a friend is a healthy leisure activity, but does not induce flow.  That’s because a flow activity:

  • Is useful and challenging, which makes it intrinsically rewarding
  • Helps you progress toward a goal
  • Provides feedback to help gauge the effectiveness of your efforts

And flow activities require some sort of action!  Passive leisure activities won’t help you find your flow.

We all need time to zone out but, just like too much sugar in your diet is bad for you, too much passive leisure time isn’t optimal!  In fact, some passive leisure activities produce the opposite of “flow”–similar to a state of mild depression!  Watching television is one of these passive leisure activities–there can be a lift in mood if it’s a favorite show and you watch in moderation.  But if you watch mindlessly, your brain falls into a trance-like (alpha wave) state, only without the benefits of alpha wave during sleep or meditation–only negative effects, similar to depression.  So keep passive leisure activities to a minimum.  :)

Please share your suggestions for flow activities!