29 October 2022

Physical mindfulness and flow states

 A lot of advice on mindfulness focuses on activities that are not normally part of the average day, such as breathing exercises or focussing on a body part or specific aspect of your environment. I find it very difficult to dedicate time to this style of activity. However, I have found that I really enjoy physical activities such as golf and archery, that I believe bring the same benefits of mindfulness but with the enjoyment of the sport in question. In order to learn and master these crafts, you need to practise regularly, entering a flow state each time. Because I enjoy these activities, I am happy to practise 3-4 times per week, thus regularly entering a flow state.

Headspace defines flow state as "A sense of fluidity between your body and mind, where you are totally absorbed by and deeply focused on something, beyond the point of distraction. Time feels like it has slowed down. Your senses are heightened. You are at one with the task at hand, as action and awareness sync to create an effortless momentum. Some people describe this feeling as being in the zone. This is the flow state and it’s accessible to everyone, whether you’re engaged in a physical activity, a creative pursuit, or even a simple day-to-day task." 

I like to refer to the use of fun physical activities, that allow you to easily enter a flow state, as "physical mindfulness".