14 Feb Suffering from teen angst and lost energy? Find your FLOW
Life is full of obstacles whether it’s a childhood graze, teen angst or adult ordeals. Finding your flow, your groove, your drive, will enable you to glide through barriers more easily with a better state of mind.
Flow is not a somebody or a thing it’s a ‘state of being’. The word ‘flow’ might sound a bit soft and woolly to you but I promise it’s not. Flow is one of the most important elements for you to discover in life. Ponder this word for a moment, what does flow mean to you?
Is it like ‘going with the flow’, ‘going your own way’, being ‘in the zone’, feeling as though ‘things are easy’ or does it raise images in your mind like ‘water’ perhaps? Well, flow is all those things and so much more.
I love life and life loves me too!
Exploring your flow
If you have time I encourage you to look up the work of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi who wrote a book on flow. You can also find him on TED talks here. Another great believer in the concept of flow is psychologist Gay Hendricks. He wrote a book about flow called The Big Leap. And the concept of flow is by no means a new one. In fact, the Chinese were using flow way back in ninth century BC in the I Ching or Yi Jing manuscript. If you are interested, this has been translated and adapted into a modern English book called I Ching or Book of Changes.
Flow is the place you find yourself when it’s challenging but not overstretching. It is a state of mind, whatever you are doing or feeling, that is enough for it not to be boring. It is a great place to be when you are being challenged with something relating to your natural gifts and talents and it’s a great skill to be able to align yourself to your flow.
Imagine how a river flows. It begins as a trickle that grows in volume. It’s a force of nature that has a purpose. It will naturally flow to a lake or the sea, and nothing will stop it. Yes there will be obstacles such as boulders or trees, but it always overcomes them by finding a way to go over or move around. That’s what it’s like to be in flow.
The Lucozade flow video captures this notion perfectly and their slogan ‘the unmistakable feeling of being unstoppable’ is bang on!
“Good energy is contagious.”
Why you should be in flow
When you are in flow you absolutely cannot be stressed, depressed or anxious. So why would you not want to find your flow? It’s the best way to build your mental wealth and health [add link to previous blog]. Being in flow helps to remove mental health challenges, the immense pressures of exams, puberty and just general teen angst – or at least it equips you with the appropriate and positive mental state for you to take them in your stride.
Have you ever been in that place where your mum or dad was shouting you for tea (for what they said was ages), but you never heard a thing? That’s because you were completely in the zone – 100 percent feeling your flow. Time has a habit of disappearing when you are enjoying yourself.
When you’re in flow, you have more energy and feel exhilarated. You are motivated and have a sense of anticipation, even a mix of nerves and excitement. When in flow it’s because you are doing something that you’re naturally good at and it doesn’t take much of an effort. A learned behaviour or skill on the other hand, or something that’s not a natural talent, can have the opposite effect and put you out of flow.
Where would you put yourself right now, as you read this, on a scale of 1-10 (1 being pretty poop and 10 being amazing) in how your flow feels? You might have a different scale of 1-10 at home, at school or with relationships between friends and family. What’s your score right now? How incredible would the difference be if you hitched up the score by a notch or two? Understanding this flow and how you feel in certain situations is key to building resilience.
“I flow with life and good things flow to me.”
Here’s how to find your flow
OK so here’s the big question, ‘What does flow look like for you?’ What elements are in flow for you on a daily basis?
Could it be your imagination? Creative writing, reading poetry, listening to music or are you an adrenaline junkie? Do you like quiet time on your own, researching, planning, solving problems or getting enthralled in a deep conversation with people you trust? Or are you outgoing and love to perform on a stage, lead a team or meet new people?
Try the following exercise and make notes. Revisit it every few weeks to see if anything changes.
- What time of day is best?
- What day is best?
- Who do you prefer to be with at the time?
- What factors improve the outcome?
- What factors spoil the outcome?
- How could you make it even better?
Ultimately being in flow makes you happy. If you’re not happy or not in flow then the task at hand can feel exhausting. This is because it takes more of your energy to participate or complete it. You may have something that you keep pushing to the bottom of the list or ignoring, hoping it will go away. It’s stressful and frustrating. But honestly, because you probably still need to do it anyway, unless you can pass it on, take a deep breath and jump straight in. Look at it this way, the quicker you do it the quicker you can move onto something you do enjoy and your flow will return.
Identify the things that make you feel worried or feel demanding on your time or skills. Once you recognise the difference it’s easier for you to choose what to do with them.
Keep a journal and note how you feel about each day and what you’ve done and work on keeping yourself in full flow.
“I am vibrating on a high energetic frequency.”
Choose the life you want to lead
Life is so much better when you feel happy with what you’re doing and with those you spend time with. There are so many enriching experiences waiting for you to join in and I can help you to find them and embrace them. Please do share your experiences and if you need to talk in confidence, I’m here for you. Connect with me:
Have a tremendous week ahead, I do hope it keeps you in positive flow and you enjoy every second. Until next time, empower yourself and stay happy.