The search for optimal performance has been hunted by most of us looking to achieve excellence in our field. Once found it becomes like holding onto a slippery fish! But that effortless feeling of performing like a superhuman is so addictive, we must get more.
As a sports enthusiast, performance coach and having trained with some of the best in the world. I have been wondering and researching for the cause, effect and how to trigger flow at will. How are we going to achieve and maintain it whenever we want? How does our brain process information whenever we are entering this dynamic zone? This is what I’ll explain on this article, we are going to sink into the mind of flow, how deactivating some part of our brain can activate the most important aspect of triggering and maintaining the flow state.
I have explained the 5 brainwaves and its connection to flow state on my previous article. To recall, our 5 brain waves are the Gamma, Beta, Alpha, Theta and Delta. There I explained that the normal state of our brain is where our beta brain waves activate. This is where we experience the normal waking consciousness and heightened state of alertness, logic, and critical reasoning.
Our Prefrontal Cortex, specifically, the Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex is very important during our normal Beta state. It is the part of the brain that allows us to analyze and question our own behavior which can be highly useful in certain circumstances. Example is when walking out into traffic or making long-term decisions. The normal state of our brain or the beta state is where we use our conscious mind. Studies shows that, while we are in our conscious mind, the processing of information is very slow and requires a lot of energy.
Moreover, some part of your brain needs to deactivate in order to enter the zone. You need to shift your brain from normal or beta state into the Transient Hypofrontality or flow state. ‘Transient’ means temporary, ‘hypo’ means slowing down and ‘frontality’ means frontal cortex (the front of your brain). In Transient Hypofrontality, you need to shut down that ‘inner critic’ that pushes you down and distracts you instead of lifting you up and helping you focus. That part of the brain is none other than the Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex, yes, the one that I mentioned earlier. You need to shut down that part of your brain during sports performance to avoid distraction allowing all your attention to go to the part you want to use without restriction or micromanagement. This will then result to quick reactions and uninterrupted productivity. So in Transient Hypofrontality, we are trading conscious processing for subconscious processing where the processing of information is very fast and requires a very little energy.
Take a look at the graphic below to further understand the difference between the brain in Beta (normal state) and the brain in Transient Hypofrontality (Flow State).
Certain reports state that most athlete who have experienced being in flow report a sense of Time slows down. Research states that time is calculated throughout the brain especially the prefrontal cortex of the brain. This is the reason that, while in flow, we become more subconscious in our actions, we blur out our perception of past and future. We are pulled deeper into the ‘Deep Now’.
While your brain is in Transient Hypofrontality, the brain deactivates to become more efficient. You become more subconscious in your actions. You become faster. You become more effective. You become more energy effective. You become Superhuman!
To know more about Transient Hypofrontality and how controlling your subconscious mind affect sports performance, watch my 50-minute documentary video on How to Hack the Flow State for athletes and get the same results as champion.
You can also strengthen your connection to Flow by accessing my Flow State Free Course Package. Flow Tutorials, The 3 Step Formula, Instant Flow Meditation and a powerful Flow Triggering Workout. Which I will send to you via email right now (if you want). Pretty cool right? Well, grab your access now:)
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Thanks for reading! And stay in Flow for more.
The Neuroscience of Highly Productive Flow States. (2014). Retrieved May 11, 2016, from http://www.thebioneer.com/neuroscience-of-flow-states/
Understanding Your Subconscious Mind. (2010). Retrieved May 12, 2016, from http://www.briantracy.com/blog/general/understanding-your-subconscious-mind/
Your Brain Peforms Better When It Slows Down, with Steven Kotler. (2014). Retrieved May 12, 2016, from http://bigthink.com/think-tank/steven-kotler-flow-states