Happiness – Flow

We noticed during our research that some children became incredible engaged in the ImaginationGYM® activities such as those in The Enchanted Forest Activity Book. They would be sternly focused on their masterpiece with their tongue hanging out to the left of their mouth oblivious to any distraction or noise from the children around them. Having had knowledge of Mihalyi Csikzentmihalyi’s (Claremont Graduate University, USA) Flow Theory we thought this is as close to flow as you get.

Briefly Flow occurs when you are engaged in an activity that challenges us but we are skilled up to do the job i.e. it is not too hard or too easy. Mihalyi discovered Flow unexpectedly when he was researching ‘what makes us happy’. He discovered from his vast team of research volunteers that they were at their happiest when they were in flow, doing an activity that fully engaged them.

We think that the ImaginationGYM® Methodology encourages Flow because, the intrapersonal nature of the imagination exercises creates the conditions from which ‘flow can flow’ if they are proceeded by a challenging activity. In ImaginationGYM® activities the child is always given a choice of what they wish to do, so that they are always doing that which they are drawn to, the activity that interests them the most. Conversely if there was no preceding imagination exercise they may make different choices e.g. the easiest one, the quickest one to do, etc.