In the article, Psychologist Mihaly Csíkszentmihályi identifies the following 8 factors as accompanying an experience of flow.
- Concentrating, a high degree of concentration on a limited field of attention (a person engaged in the activity will have the opportunity to focus and to delve deeply into it).
- A loss of the feeling of self-consciousness, the merging of action and awareness. Action with awareness fades into action alone.
- Distorted sense of time, one’s subjective experience of time is altered.
- Direct and immediate feedback (successes and failures in the course of the activity are apparent, so that behavior can be adjusted as needed).
- Balance between ability level and challenge (the activity is neither too easy nor too difficult).
- A sense of personal control over the situation or activity. The activity is intrinsically rewarding, so there is an effortlessness of action.
- A lack of awareness of bodily needs (to the extent that one can reach a point of great hunger or fatigue without realizing it)
- Absorption into the activity, narrowing of the focus of awareness down to the activity itself, action and awareness are merging.We are “flowing”.
Source: Mihaly Csíkszentmihályi (1990)