Have you ever experienced a runner’s high or been so focused that you were in an unbreakable zone? It’s in these moments that we tap into what positive psychologists label as the flow state!
Flow state is defined as an optimal state of consciousness when our brains begin to quiet down allowing for an increased sense of wellbeing, an elevated sense of energy, and a spiked increase in concentration.
Flow state moments are thrilling! They inspire creative spikes in our brains followed by major increases in overall physical and mental performance. When transitioning into a flow state, the brain begins to release naturally occurring “happy” chemicals. Norepinephrine, epinephrine, and dopamine are the three main neurochemicals released that help focus the brain. These neurochemicals also quiet down the prefrontal cortex, which holds our thoughts and inner critiques.
Anandamide is also released, allowing the creation of more neurological connections, which assists in the connection of broad thoughts and ideas. This combination of neurochemicals is what allows the mind to slow down and enter a trance mode. When our brains begin to fall into this trance, the brain waves transform from beta waves into alpha waves. It’s these alpha waves that are responsible for calming the brain state but also allowing it to remain alert. At this point, the flow state is in full effect!
Flow state is highly beneficial and can be accessed by anyone. While many people struggle with getting into the flow state, there are a handful of triggers that can guide our brains into this state of mind. Clearing all distractions along with being in a comfortable environment are incredibly important! For example, to fall into the flow state at work, one must focus on clear goals while staying emerged in present tasks. One also needs skills that are well matched to the task at hand, but yet is also still being challenged. Undoubtedly, it can be difficult at times to implement flow triggers, behaviors, and thought patterns. This is where cannabis may be able to help!
For some, cannabis can be a noteworthy aid in reaching the flow state! Cannabis reacts to many of the neurochemicals and parts of the brain that are associated with reaching the flow state. Cannabis itself can quiet down the prefrontal cortex, thereby shutting down loud thoughts. Along with that, cannabis releases dopamine, which helps connect the ideas in our brain. The brain striatum also becomes more active when paired with cannabis – helping to control our motivation, action planning, decision making, and reward perception. Most importantly, Cannabis pushes brain waves towards alpha waves, which is a major component when it comes to accessing the flow state trance. Cannabis reacts to our neurochemicals and brain functions in remarkably similar ways seen in the flow state mind set!
Furthermore, pairing cannabis with exercise and caffeine has been anecdotally shown to be a popular combination when it comes to reaching the flow state. This combination has been named by many as the “hippy speedball” and consists first of 25 minutes of exercise, followed by a coffee or caffeinated drink, ending with consuming an uplifting cannabis product (one that contains pinene, limonene, or terpinolene terpenes). Terpenes are the compounds that best determine the experience related to the specific cannabis product. Pinene, limonene, and terpinolene are three terpenes that are generally associated with a more stimulating and uplifting experience.
Paring cannabis with exercise and caffeine has shown to have performing enhancement effects allowing the mind to ease into the flow state. If you struggle with reaching the flow state, this flow combo might just be perfect for you to try!
Still curious about flow state? Check out the founding father, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi! Through his research he discovered that humans could tap into a state of mind that enhanced their overall performance. He offers great research that developed the theory of the flow state. An author of research, Steven Kotter offers multiple YouTube videos, blogs, and books featuring valuable information regarding flow state. He dives into the neurochemistry of the flow state along with tips and steps to achieve this optimal state of mind. Check them both out for more in-depth information over the topic!
Tapping into the flow state can only enhance your life! At Feel State, we believe that cannabis, when used properly, has the ability to better connect individuals to themselves, each other, and their communities. If using cannabis responsibly is appropriate to help you get in the flow state, we hope that Feel State is your trusted source.