What is flow?

When you are in a state of flow, you can accomplish amazing things. Suddenly you are more creative, productive and happier. So, what is flow really?

First of all, flow is up to you. According to American psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, who coined the term, we all have the power to be happy or miserable, regardless of what is happening around us. The key is finding flow.

Flow has fantastic rewards

In practice, flow requires an activity where the challenge is balanced by your skills. You need to push yourself and be completely absorbed, focused and involved in that activity. When you do this, you can disregard problems, worries and your ego. This offers fantastic rewards as the brain releases neurochemicals that make you feel happier, fulfilled, connected and 100 percent present.

While in this state you might feel that everything is effortless, but do not mistake that for easy. Flow is a very active state where you are the best you can be.

Everything can lead to flow

Quite often, flow describes outstanding achievements of athletes, amazing works of skillful artists, or what happens when we engage in our favorite hobbies.

In reality, flow is where hard work meets joy and meaning. Most of your daily activities, including work, can lead to flow and be more enjoyable. In his ground-breaking first book on the subject (Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1990). Flow: The psychology of optimal experience. New York, NY: Harper & Row), Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi wrote:

“[Flow means] 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.”

“Flow matters because of the control it gives you. Instead of reacting to external events and stimuli, you take an active role in your life, from the most mundane moments to the most critical.”

The above shows how universal flow is, and how it can affect us no matter who we are or what we are doing. Sure, great challenges can lead to flow, but flow can also occur during chores like doing the dishes or performing standard assignments at your practice.

In short, flow simply offers you a possibility to feel happier, motivated and more creative both in life and at work. Find out how Dentsply Sirona can make your flow in implant dentistry here.

Read more about flow, and how to find it, in our series of articles

10 characteristics of flow

How to find your flow

Flow fun facts

Build a bigger and better we – and you will be a winner

5 steps to achieve team flow

8 ways to improve your results with business flow

A tiny screw with a huge impact on flow

Flow book tip