How to Enter the Flow State

How to Enter the Flow State


This is the definitive guide to getting in the zone I’m Brett Wingerier I’m a neuroscientist, biomedical engineer and athlete. First of all let’s talk about being in the zone, what some people call flow state. Basically you’re in a state of perfect focus where you’re not even consciously thinking about things or processing moment by moment. It’s a state of relaxed high performance. That’s the zone. Fact is anybody can be in the zone. It’s not just sports. It’s anything where you’re able to just do it and block out distractions. Repetition repetition is the language of the brain and it’s the way you get better at anything. Here’s one study, the National Institute of Health put freestyle rappers in an MRI machine while they were freestyling. There was less cognitive control because it didn’t need to happen. They were in flow, they were in the zone, they were practicing their craft. When you’re first learning something everything lights up here in the frontal lobe. As you become an expert then that activity actually goes down. All of that gets moved into subconscious. So the biggest misconception about getting in the zone is that it’s this magic thing that only happens couple times in a lifetime. That’s not the case you can prepare for it. Be well-rested, smart hard practice, ignore distractions. Part of that could be meditation. Interestingly, caffeine actually does improve performance. You have to find that happy medium, a little is good, a lot is too much. True or false? Sports performance is all about genetics and how big your muscles are. Absolutely false. It’s about how well does your brain control them. All those movements that make you an elite basketball player, it’s all part of muscle memory. One of the best is this guy TJ Kerry, he is a cornerback for the Oakland Raiders. We worked with TJ with our product Halo Sport. It’s a pair of headphones. It helps speed up firing neurons in the primary motor cortex, which means the brain can take in more information really quickly. And he added 9 inches to his vertical leap. 42 inch vertical leap. That’s amazing! That’s insane! His brain was optimizing the firing of every little part of that muscle and everything that goes into that. Strength is specific. Let’s say you’re training on biceps machine. Then what you’re really getting best at is just doing that exact thing. Is doing that biceps curl. Because it’s not just about how big your muscle is, it’s about how your brain has learned to use it in exactly that context and that’s why the best physical training is the training that best approximates exactly what you’re doing on game day. The thing is, this is relevant to all of us, because we all have a brain, we all have a body, we all want to reach our potential. Everybody can have this sensation of “Wow! I nailed that.”

99 thoughts on “How to Enter the Flow State”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *