The Science of the “Flow” state.
Getting into the flow can be difficult to force, but a joy to be in! This article describes flow as a delicate balance between not too much / not too little stress, lying “on the continuum between boredom and anxiety.”
“Flow theory … is a state of optimal experience characterised by complete task immersion, effortless intention, intrinsic reward, and increased perception of control”
The study suggests “optimal performance may be associated with predominant, but not total, sympathetic response” … in other words, there is “good stress” with “bad stress” lying on either side.
A great study from Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience in 2018 (link) provides evidence for the neurophysiological link between controlled breathing practices and attention/focus (being in the flow).
This coupled with another McKinsey study suggesting that being in the ‘flow’ state can make us 500% more productive, is some seriously good reason to try a controlled breathing or Breathwork practice!