Flow the psychology of happiness pdf

Concentrating on a flow the psychology of happiness pdf is one aspect of flow. In positive psychology, flow, also known as the zone, is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by complete absorption in what one does, and a resulting loss in one’s sense of space and time. Achieving flow is often colloquially referred to as being in the zone.


Flow shares many characteristics with hyperfocus. However, hyperfocus is not always described in a positive light. Some examples include spending “too much” time playing video games or getting side-tracked and pleasurably absorbed by one aspect of an assignment or task to the detriment of the overall assignment. In some cases, hyperfocus can “capture” a person, perhaps causing them to appear unfocused or to start several projects, but complete few.

Those aspects can appear independently of each other, but only in combination do they constitute a so-called flow experience. Just as with the conditions listed above, these conditions can be independent of one another. Flow is so named because during Csíkszentmihályi’s 1975 interviews several people described their “flow” experiences using the metaphor of a water current carrying them along. Mihaly Csikszentmihályi and his fellow researchers began researching flow after Csikszentmihályi became fascinated by artists who would essentially get lost in their work.