Tapping Into Your Flow State Can Help You Own Your Everyday, Every Day and Boost Happiness
TORONTO: Time-crunched and trying to maximize every moment to power through yet another busy day? Getting into a mental and physical flow state - the term used by researchers as a state for ultimate human performance - can play a key role.
Achieving happiness requires the same approach as a healthy lifestyle - consistency! The greatest successes result from slow, steady lifestyle changes, says Mandich. The psychology of behaviour change teaches us that making small changes over time is the most effective way to make long-term, lifestyle changes. Making small, healthy choices each day really does add up and can help you get into a flow state, or in the zone, and increase overall happiness. With the right steps, almost anything can be a flow experience such as commuting, writing, cooking, and even doing the dishes.
Exercise and healthy eating are some of the small steps Mandich says are vital for achieving flow and happiness as they release powerful hormones such as endorphins that make us feel good to own the day. She has found that people's emotional connections tied to consuming certain foods play a part in how the body responds to them on a physiological level to digest them. Her go-to snack is almonds for those in-between moments as they provide sustained energy from a combination of protein, fibre and healthy fats so she can feel good and easily get into the flow.
The thoughts you have while eating something unhealthy do play a role in how you metabolize that specific food. If you're feeling guilty about eating something, you trigger a stress response that can slow digestion and even increase fat storage, says Mandich. The same goes if you're having negative thoughts about a healthy meal - 'Ugh, chicken and broccoli ...again?' That's why you want to have healthy options that you enjoy, such as almonds. I always have natural and flavoured almonds on hand to satisfy any mood and help me get into the flow and own it.
Aside from being a scientist and researcher, Mandich is a news contributor and featured expert, media personality and certified yoga instructor. She can attest to the importance of achieving an optimal flow state to power through the constant busy days - relying on almonds as her key productivity sidekick. Although science has found that there is no exact formula for achieving flow, Mandich has a few tips that she has found to make it easier to own her everyday:
Implement little rituals: Whether it's morning meditation, an evening workout, or simply taking the time throughout the day to get up and move, carve out regular routines to dedicate some time to yourself. Cut out distractions - try to find a quiet place or wear headphones with your phone out of sight or on airplane mode.
Create a serene space: Organize your surroundings to help declutter not only the physical space around you, but also your mind and spirit. I like to surround myself with little things that bring me joy such as colourful items, background music, essential oils and I make sure I have everything around that I may need including tea to sip on and snacks.
Avoid being hungry: Hunger will kill flow, so it's important to have snacks around that will give you high quality fuel and will release glucose slowly into your bloodstream and provide sustained energy. What you eat depends on your dietary preferences and general tastes but one of my favourite snacks is almonds as they contain the winning trifecta of protein, fibre and healthy fats. I love that they are portable and easy to enjoy anytime and are available in many flavours for a satisfying crunch.
Make sure you are rested: Prioritizing sleep is important because it's not just about getting sufficient quantity of sleep, but also that your sleep is high quality. Being well-rested puts you at your best and allows you to tap into flow. If you are tired your ability to concentrate will decrease, and smaller distractions will more easily pull you away from flow. For more on tips on how to own your day, visit Almonds.com.