Daily Practices that Get You In the State of Flow

The 4 states of mind is a powerful concept in understanding our own psychology but it’s greatest power lies in how it provides anyone with a platform to maneuver through states that serve us better. In this article I want to discuss the actions you can take today to transition into a more empowering state of mind that you may be in, namely the state of flow. But before we get into that I want to present some scientific facts on how happiness changes the way we function and essentially how it dictates our wellbeing.Daily Practices

In the book “The Happiness Advantage” by Shawn Achor, a study showed that doctors who are happy make 19% better diagnosis. Salespeople that are more optimistic than others, outsell pessimist by a whopping 56 %. In universities, students that are happier outperform their neutral peers. More importantly, studies have shown positive impacts of happiness on life span. In one study, nuns who were approaching 90 years of age were divided into four different segments according to the contents of their journals: most negative, happiest and then two categories in between. They analyzed the bottom 25 % of the most negative category and the top 25% of the happiest category, the results were astounding. They found that by age 85 those at the top 25% almost 90% of the nuns were still alive whereas only 34% percent of the bottom 25% were still living. Happiness can literally increase your lifespan and lack of it has the potential to kill you.Daily Practices

So how do you inject happiness in your life? there are some simple yet powerful practices that you can bring in your life to almost instantaneously to level up your happiness.

  1. Meditation

The first is meditation, studies are showing remarkable things about the power of meditation. A study published in the Time magazine not only showed that meditation is boosting the immune system but brain scan done on long-term meditators suggests that the simple practice of meditation maybe rewiring the brains to reduce stress. Today, close to 18 million Americans meditate every single day, a small minority yet a significant increase in numbers from only a decade ago. Research is showing that if you meditate every single day for 15 minutes you more than make up for that time in the span of your day by better levels of happiness, better health, more focus and more productivity. It shifts your entire life yet only 8% of us meditate on a daily basis.Daily practices

There are several techniques of mediation out there, a little research on what mediation type suits you will have you on the right path almost instantaneously. The positive effects of meditation, as you continue with the practice, will keep you returning back to it every single day.Daily practices

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  1. Creative Visualization

The second thing which can dramatically elevate levels of happiness is Creative Visualization. A really powerful tool which can be done while meditating, while commuting or even while sitting in the tub. Creative visualization is to imagine how you want your life to unfold.

In a study called the finger abduction a control group was instructed to bend their finger repeatedly for 15 minutes every day, while another group was asked to do nothing more than visualize themselves moving their finger up and down. After about a month, the control group showed a 50% increase in muscle strength but astonishingly, the other group that did nothing but visualize experienced a 35% increase in muscle strength. Visualization alone causes physical changes in the body. In another study done by the cancer research institute patients that were taught to visualize their cancers disappearing experienced spontaneous remissions of their cancers.Daily practices

Another technique for visualization is intention setting; the act of telling yourself how you want your day to unfold every single day. Visualization can put you in a state where you feel greater control over your surroundings and as a result create more opportunities for happiness.Daily practices

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  1. Gratitude

Gratitude is yet another powerful practice and studies done on gratitude show some amazing results. Martin Seligman did a study on gratitude and he showed that people who journal for seven days straight writing down the things they are grateful for were 2% happier after seven days. Although not much, the truly remarkable results were that after six months of the experiment these people were 9% happier. Seven days of journaling was causing changes in their happiness level six months down the road. Science shows the gratitude causes more energy, higher emotional intelligence, more forgetting attitudes, less depression, less anxiousness more feelings of being socially connected and better sleep.Daily practices

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  1. Inspirational Reads

Reading has been shown to reduce blood pressure and bring a sense of calm, it has even been linked to helping people suffering from certain mood disorders. Inspirational reading can include fiction, non-fiction, biographies, philosophical texts, spiritual texts etc. Reading about inspirational leaders can prime you for happiness because it allows you to access the wisdom of an unofficial mentor, someone who may not be there to sit down with you but through reading their life’s journey, the challenges they faced and the triumphs they achieved they share with you a perspective that is different from your own. Whether it’s Steve Jobs or Benjamin Franklin, inspirational stories can spark you to think in a different way while having remarkable benefits.

The act of doing these 4 practices every single day requires discipline but it does not have to be a monumental task. All together these practices do not have to take more than 15-20minutes of your time and we have seen above, you more than make up for that time during the day. I believe this is the discipline of making sure that you can put yourself in a happy state every single day because what else could be more important than being happy and being able to know that you can consciously control your happiness.

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