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Take on More Than Just the Sofa This Christmas

Christmas is a perfect time to forget about work – if you're lucky enough to have time off – and we all over-indulge a little (ok, maybe a lot!) so it's really tempting to turn into members of the Royale family and just veg out in front of all those Christmas specials on TV for the whole festive period. This is brilliant to an extent of course, but happiness isn't just about the pleasure seeking. For a really happy Christmas, why not think about trying a few different challenges, to help you experience a different side of happiness. We've outlined some of the theory and practice below to help you.

What is Flow?

Flow is the opposite of those rushed, crazy-busy feelings we all struggle with in our fractured role-juggling lives. People who manage to spend a higher proportion of their time in flow activities are more motivated, more resilient, and happier, according to flow researchers.

Imagine you are reading a book and the story and the characters are so good that you completely lose yourself in it, people speak to you and you don't notice, you forget to eat or drink and when you finally look up hours have past. This is flow.

Of course it doesn't have to be a good book, you can completely lose yourself in any number of experiences such as singing, dancing, playing a game you love, taking part in a sport, cooking, or a favourite pastime with your children. Moments such as these provide flashes of intense living against the background of everyday life.

According to positive psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi what you are experiencing in that moment is known as flow, a state of complete immersion in an activity. He describes the mental state of 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."

One of the benefits of flow, apart from making activities more enjoyable, is that it can lead to improved performance. Researchers have found that flow can enhance performance in a wide variety of areas including teaching, learning, athletics and creativity. Flow experiences can occur in different ways for different people. You might experience flow while taking part in a sport, others might feel flow whilst painting, drawing or writing and not forgetting many of the things we do at work.

So What Makes it Flow?

According to Csíkszentmihályi, there are several factors that accompany the experience of flow, although it's possible to feel flow with only some of these:

• Clear goals

• Complete concentration

• Actions and awareness are merged

• Losing awareness of yourself or self-consciousness

• Sense of control over what you're doing, without worrying about failure

• Transformation of time – usually time goes much faster, but it can also slow right down

• Activities are done because you want to do them so are more rewarding

With this in mind we thought we'd give you some practical tips on how to add a bit of challenge into your break. Try going for a run, play some family games or quizzes, read a non-fiction book, go for a family walk, visit one of the many ice rinks around at this time of year, or even try your hand at baking. We don't want to discourage you from relaxing, far from it, but just to remind you that balanced happiness involves these flow experiences, as well as just chilling out.


0 #1 youtube.Com 2014-02-20 23:34
I love it when folks come together and share ideas. Great website, stick with

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5 Ways you can Achieve Flow 18 April 2018, 00.00 Sharon
5 Ways you can Achieve Flow
Often described as a state of mind in which you can experience total immersion and involvement in what you’re doing, where things happen effortlessly and time disappears, flow is what athletes often call “being in the



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