“I’m able to find gratitude for my surroundings, my body, the magic of what happens when two paints mix together or a whisk transforms an egg yolk. I notice the beauty around me. But that transformative effect happens more frequently when I slow down and have time to focus on creativity or health,” Wall says.
Dr. Markman adds it’s pivotal to make time to create the conditions that are conducive to complete immersion. Clear time and space so that you won’t be interrupted or feel pressed for time. Experiencing immersion regularly results in improved concentration, self-esteem and health.
Which means making time for activities you love is important, whether it be cooking, gardening, swimming, building a website from scratch or anything in which you find yourself engaged.
The key factor is engagement—flow requires your mind to be completely present in the activity, which means as much as you might love a “Project Runway” marathon, you’re not likely to find flow through passive leisure activities like watching TV.
“TV doesn’t have the active engagement that flow states require, and it isn’t challenging. Your eyes are occupied by images, but your mind isn’t forcing you to think deeply,” Dr. Markman says.
What activities do you get lost in? Make them a priority in your life and take your happiness to a new level.
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