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There are 22 flow triggers, which are structural pre-conditions for amplifying our focus and attention. These flow triggers help to naturally trigger the flow of dopamine to sustain concentration on a single meaningful and challenging activity long enough to enter a flow state.

In a new video on how to enter a “flow state” on command, best-selling author Steven Kotler talks about how flow can be described as a state of ‘effortless effort,’ where we feel like we’re propelled through an activity, and everything else seems to disappear.

The Relationship Between Awe And Flow States

The flow state and the experience of awe have an interesting relationship with each other.

The felt experience of awe acts as one of most powerful triggers for getting in the flow state because this kind of experience tends to be combine the 3 key environmental triggers for invoking flow:

1. Novelty: the quality of being new, original, or unusual.
2. Complexity: the state or quality of being intricate or complicated.
3. Unpredictability:  tending to behave in ways that cannot be predicted.

All of these qualities in our environment heighten our focus and increase dopamine flow in the brain, which makes it easier to access flow.

The perceptual vastness felt in an awe experience along with the need to accomodate something that goes beyond our limited conceptual understanding powerfully unites these environmental flow triggers in a way that leaves us feeling more fully alive.

Unpacking The 22 Flow Triggers

I highly recommend watching this 7-minute video on the Science of Flow where Steven Kotler unpacks most of the 22 triggers for tapping into the flow state.

Beating Anxiety With Flow

How to unlock your brain’s natural antidepressants and antianxiety mechanisms.


Kyle Pearce

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