Flow, also known as optimal experience, is a state of complete immersion in an activity. Many people at one time or another have experienced flow and can identify its characteristics: feelings of intense energy, focus, involvement, and intrinsic enjoyment while engaging in an activity. Often, one’s sense of time and surroundings seem to disappear, and the individual is left in a state of complete absorption in an activity.

Positive psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi began researching the experience of flow after witnessing several artists who would by all accounts get “lost in their work.” Csíkszentmihályi was fascinated with how these artists could become so immersed in their work that they would disregard basic survival needs, such as food, water, and sleep. Flow research and theory originated with a ...

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