Flow Zone Performance
The underlying science
and how its used in the
NMC (Neuro Master
for Increased Performance
In recent years, various organizations have been discovering the
benefits of Flow.
Those organizations that employ a Neuro Fitness Program are
able to foster and sustain long-term Flow for their employees and
count on increased performance standards.
By participating in the School's
unique course you will gain invaluable tools to access parts of your
brain and train it to provide a life with flow. Your life will
never be the same!!
First proposed by positive psychologist Mihaly Csíkszentmihályi in
the 70s, flow is the mental state where we are "so immersed in a
feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the
process of the activity that we lose sense of space and time."
Csíkszentmihályi described flow as "being completely involved in an
activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every
action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous
one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you're
using your skills to the utmost."
The irony of the
effortlessness of flow is that only when we slip past the anxiety
and stress can we get to a place of serene ability. Flow is the
stuff not only of great work, but of a meaningful life.
“Flow” is being in the
zone, getting the groove, being on fire, or just being in a totally
optimal state for peak performance. It is that magical moment when
everything seems to come together – you become fully immersed in the
activity, fears and insecurities melt away, action become
spontaneous, and you feel fully alive and in the present moment.
Today affective neuroscience confirms the importance of flow. A
particular state of consciousness that anyone can access.
positive psychology, flow, also known colloquially as being in the
zone, is the mental state of operation in which a person performing
an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full
involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity.
Some Characteristics of Flow
concentration on the task
time (speeding up/slowing down of time)
The experience is
There is a feeling
of control over the task
awareness are merged, losing self-conscious rumination
The flow state is largely a modern twist on an age old phenomenon-
the power of living through the subconscious. People
who have practiced a high level of Yoga and meditation through the
ages, have learnt how to tap into this power.
As technology and distractions proliferate, our attention spans
diminish and so with it our ability to access our subconscious at
Does the average modern 15 year old reared on iphones, snapchats,
sit-coms have a greater attention span, ability to focus that a 15
year old living 200 years ago? Have you yourself sensed your power
of concentration under attack by the incessant distractions and
devices the modern world throws at us?
Why is Flow important?
When we are in this state of Flow, we perform at our peak. Not only
do our productivity levels soar, but we experience a deep sense of
satisfaction. Work becomes a source of enjoyment.
Flow is the mental state of being when a person in fully immersed in
an activity with a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and
a sense of success in the process of that activity.
Anyone may experience Flow in
many different situations, such as play, creativity and work. Flow
tends to occur when a person’s skills are fully involved in
overcoming a challenge that is just about manageable.
Because of the total demand on psychic energy, a person in Flow is
completely focused. There is no space for distracting thoughts,
irrelevant feelings. Self-consciousness disappears, yet one feels
stronger than usual. The sense of time is distorted – hours seem to
pass by in minutes.
When a person’s entire being is stretched during the full
functioning of body and mind, whatever one does becomes worth doing
for its own sake. Living becomes its own justification. In the
harmonious focusing of physical and psychic energy, life finally
comes into its own.
What is The
Motivation Behind Your Flow State?
The “Flow” state is where self-consciousness is lost, one surrenders
completely to the moment and time means nothing. Like when a
competent musician or sportsperson plays without thinking.
Fear (Extrinsic) motivation (eg; working hard to earn more money) is
where your motivation to succeed is controlled externally. This type
of motivation is short-lived. Good extrinsic motivation is where you
are practicing to get better but you still need a coach to validate
Recent research demonstrates that when controlled imagery (as used
in the Neuro Coaching Model) induces confidence along with a flow
state, increased performance results. Bottom line: being in a flow
state produces significant increases in performance levels in a
given external task.
fact Flow goes even deeper in a spiritual sense – when you are doing
what you love, people and resources flow into your life as well. We
certainly need more flow in the work place with so many people
disengaged. People who have Flow in their life report that is also a
place where joy and happiness is found.
Individuals who enter a flow state (e.g. sporting events, creative
activity, doing productive work) commonly report a feeling of high
alertness and arousal that is due to the activation of mid-brain
dopamine systems. Many also report a feeling of pleasure that is
characteristic of opioid release, but these reports occur only when
the individual is in a relaxed physical and mental state.
Relaxation engages opioid systems in the brain. In turn opioid and
dopamine systems can stimulate each other to produce a blissful
state. This requires that a person is engaged in a restful and
meaningful cognitive state such as what can be achieved via
meditation, mindfulness and Neuro Coaching. In turn desired
behaviors can be very easily achieved.
the dopamine and opioid is released in the brain it provides a level
of calmness, pleasure or bliss that can effectively mitigate stress
Research has also found that individuals who are more prone to
anxiety and self-criticism find the flow state very difficult to
achieve via the traditional training, coaching or counselling models
widely practiced today.
Happens in the Brain During Flow?
Recent neuropsychological research has found that flow is associated
with decreased activity in the prefrontal cortex.
The prefrontal cortex is an area responsible for higher cognitive
functions such as self-reflective consciousness, memory, temporal
integration, and working memory. It’s an area that’s responsible for
our conscious and explicit mind state.
In a state of flow, there occurs a temporary inactivation of the
prefrontal area which triggers the feeling of distortion of time,
loss of self-consciousness, and loss of inner-critic.
Moreover, the inhibition of the prefrontal lobe enables the implicit
mind to take over, resulting in more brain areas to communicate
freely and engage in a creative process. As mentioned above, in other research, it is
suggested that the flow state is directly related to the brain’s dopamine
reward circuitry since curiosity is highly amplified.
How to Get Into
It’s important to note that one can’t experience flow if other
outside distractions disrupt the experience.
When a challenge is bigger than one’s level of skills, one easily
becomes anxious and stressed. On the other hand, when the level of
skill exceeds the size of the challenge, one becomes bored and
distracted. Since the experience of this state is just in the
middle, the balance for most people is essential.
The experience of flow in everyday life is an important component
of creativity and well-being.
Indeed, it is the key for self-actualization (realizing your
creative, intellectual or social potential). Since it is also
intrinsically rewarding, the more you practice it, the more you seek
to replicate these experiences, which help lead to a fully
engaged and happy life.
Each time we find our flow we boost our primordial power of
subconscious thinking. And this provides us the most simple and effective
gateway to get
more flow into our lives.