How to Easily Achieve the Flow State of Mind During Workouts

Have you noticed that, after hitting one mile, you just get into the flow, and the next time you check your watch, you’ve already breezed through five? The same can happen to all your workouts and even yoga classes, just zoning out and vanishing the sense of self. Here are some tips that will help you achieve this flow state of mind when working out.

How to Easily Achieve the Flow State of Mind During Workouts

Eliminate All Distractions During Workouts

Always start by putting your phone on Do Not Disturb so that you can still listen to music (FYI: Whether tunes help or hurt depends on the individual) or stream workouts without the interruption of incoming texts. You should work out either before or after work when you won’t be bothered. It’s also a good practice to find a babysitter or friend who can watch the kids so that you can stay in the zone, without worrying about checking on them.

The concept of flow state of mind during workouts was first described in 1970 by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, but it only entered popular discussion two decades after that. While not being distracted is the main factor, here are a few more tips to help you stay in the zone.

Set Flexible Goals

Goals are necessary as without needing to hit a level of performance, we tend to underperform. Goals appear to build confidence and help exercises build into a flow state.

Reward Yourself in Advance

Most people are used to celebrating after wrapping a tough sweat. That’s also okay, but rewarding yourself in advance plays a significant role in concentration. Simple things like getting a pre-workout coffee or even something such as listening to your favorite song during warm-up help refocus your energy for the later-on task.

Stop Before You Want To

Sometimes, you just want to keep cranking out pushups for days, especially when you’re flying in that so-present moment. While it may seem like it’s better to keep on pushing, you need to resist the urge and stop before you’re depleted. There are four stages of the flow that include struggle, release, flow, and recovery. The last one is an entire step in the process, and if you ignore it, you’ll burn out and have less of a chance of future flow.

Fully Recuperate

Recovery is important, and you should highly prioritize it! Taking care of your body and brain after a workout will make it that much easier for you to achieve flow the next time. Recovery can look different for everyone, but it could include the usual suspects (foam rolling, stretching) as well as getting enough sleep, refueling properly, and activities like visiting a sauna or using a vibrating massage tool.

As you can see, all of the tips from above (we like to call them “flow triggers”) are easy to follow and bring a tremendous benefit to any workout. Beyond the obvious advantages of making workout routines more enjoyable, experiencing flow makes an individual more likely to engage in that activity again. We can do it all, but keep in mind that triggers are highly individual and some of them may work better than others for you. However, we firmly believe that the ones listed above will help you have regular episodes of flow in your workouts.