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  • Sasha S.

Flow: The Absolute Experience of Happiness

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (1990), one of the founders of the positive psychology movement, introduced the concept of flow in order to attempt to explain what constitutes a good life. Csikszentmihalyi claims that flow is the absolute experience of happiness. In

a state of flow, people are fully implicated in the present moment and time seems to stop. Csikszentmihalyi states that a good life is characterized by complete absorption in one’s


Flow is state of intense absorption and involvement with the present moment. You are totally immersed in what you’re doing, fully concentrating, and completely unselfconscious. The activity you’re performing is challenging and engrossing, stretching your skills and expertise. When in flow, people report feeling strong and efficacious, at the peak of their abilities, alert, in control and completely unselfconscious.

Here are few suggestions needed to engage in flow experience:


  • Choose a challenging activity that requires skill.

  • Identify the activity that is intrinsically rewarding. Flow can be fostered by actively choosing, getting engaged, and pursuing activities that suite your own interests.

  • The challenges and skills of the activity must be just above your average level of expertise and you must see clear proximal goals as well as receive immediate feedback about progress.

  • Invest your attention wisely and become fully engaged to the task at hand. Attention is key in entering and staying in flow.

  • Allow for merging of action and awareness as well as for loss of the feeling of self-consciousness and ego.

  • Don’t pay attention to time.

  • Choose the activity that is intrinsically rewarding.

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