The Definition Of Flow
December 2, 2020
In positive psychology, a flow state, also known colloquially as being in the zone, is the mental state in which a person performing some activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by the complete absorption in what one does, and a resulting transformation in one's sense of time.
Named by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi in 1975, the concept has been widely referred to flow state across a variety of fields (and is particularly well recognized in occupational therapy), though the concept has been claimed to have existed for thousands of years under other names.
The flow state shares many characteristics with hyperfocus. However, hyperfocus is not always described in a positive light. Some examples include spending "too much" time playing video games or watching television and getting side-tracked and pleasurably absorbed by one aspect of an assignment or task to the detriment of the overall assignment. In some cases, hyperfocus can "capture" a person, perhaps causing them to appear unfocused or to start several projects, but complete few.
I watched this video on YouTube. Love the song, love the "funk" they added to it, but above all, I love how the musicians are clearly experiencing flow -- and hardly ever even look at their instruments!