Unleash Your Creativity: 9 Hacks for Accessing Flow States

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Key Information

Flow states boost creativity

Flow states are mental states of intense focus and immersion that enhance creative thinking and performance.

Biology, structure, and distraction affect flow

Flow depends on giving your biology what it needs, having clear goals and parameters, and minimizing external and internal distractions.

Neurogenesis, brain waves, and supplements boost flow

Flow can be stimulated by increasing neuroplasticity, modulating brain waves, and using nootropic supplements.

Biofeedback, play, and microdosing help access flow

Flow can be triggered by tracking key biomarkers, engaging in free-form activities, and using caffeine and L-theanine.

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As a certified Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner focused on evidence-based, holistic cognitive enhancement, I often get asked about the best ways to boost creativity. Through my work, I’ve discovered 9 lifestyle hacks that can help anyone tap into flow states for enhanced creative thinking.

But first, what exactly is a flow state?

In positive psychology, the term “flow state” refers to a mental state characterized by intense focus, diminished awareness of the passage of time, loss of feeling of self-consciousness, a sense of personal control, and intrinsic reward.

In other words – complete immersive absorption in a creative activity leads to enhanced performance, innovation, and satisfaction. The hours seem to slip away effortlessly.

Top athletes, artists, musicians, and other high performers tap into these flow states to actualize their potential. Fortunately, with some lifestyle tweaks, you can too!

Creativity is a complex cognitive process. It involves generating novel and useful ideas by combining existing information in new ways.

Here are 9 research-backed hacks I’ve found most effective for triggering creative flow:

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1. Strengthen Your Biology

Accessing flow starts with giving your biology what it needs for peak mental performance.

SaunaSpace Infrared Saunas are great for cellular detoxification, blood flow and priming your body for flow.

Targeted nootropic supplements like Mind Lab Pro give your brain the raw materials for neurotransmitters crucial to flow.

Medicinal mushroom blends like FreshCap Thrive Six offer immune and nervous system support.

Start here before experimenting with more advanced tactics.

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2. Structure Your Creative Sessions

Having clearly defined goals and parameters facilitates focus – a key element of flow.

Starting open-ended projects makes it harder to get into that centered, immersed state.

I recommend using a Pomodoro timer app to structure 25-30-minute creative sprints.

The built-in intervals tell your brain it’s time to concentrate. And you earn the reward of a break.

3. Minimize External Distractions

It’s nearly impossible to enter flow when disruptive notifications and alerts vie for your attention.

That’s why I’m a big fan of Freedom App – it blocks unproductive websites and apps that derail focus.

For 90-120 minutes at a time, eliminate digital distractions. You’ll be amazed at what creative depths you can access.

4. Optimize Internal Factors

Creativity flow also depends heavily on what’s happening inside your body and brain.

Start by optimizing nutrition with something like the Lumen Metabolism Tracker. Plus supporting gut health using Gluten Guardian.

Then dial in brain function, mood, and stress response with supplements like Polygala tenuifolia and Lemon balm.

When biology is humming, flow beckons.

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5. Stimulate Neurogenesis

Human creativity depends heavily on neuroplasticity – the brain’s ability to grow new neural connections.

So giving your brain the building blocks for neurogenesis sets the stage for innovation.

The compounds in Mind Lab Pro like Citicoline, Lion’s Mane and Bacopa Monnieri help spur the genesis of new brain cells and connections.

Creativity depends on brain networks and neurotransmitters: Creativity involves the interaction of three brain networks: the default mode network, the executive network, and the salience network. Neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, and acetylcholine also play a role in creativity.

So do neuro-regenerative supplements like Limitless Life’s NMN powder.

With neuroplasticity maximized, your brain becomes hyper-responsive to creative flow triggers.

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6. Modulate Brain Waves

The electrical activity in our brain directly impacts what cognitive state we inhabit.

Alpha brain waves in particular correlate with enhanced creativity. While Theta waves tap into deep subconscious access.

You can use sound meditations from Somavedic to stimulate these receptive wave patterns.

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7. Microdose Caffeine + L-Theanine

This combo helps generate a relaxed focus ideal for immersive flow:

  • Caffeine provides stimulating motivation
  • L-Theanine elicits calm attention

I suggest a ratio of 2 parts L-theanine to 1 part caffeine. And limit to 1-2 times daily max to preserve efficacy.

The acuity minus anxiety truly enables creative absorption for many people.

8. Unwind Your Mind

While the structure has its place in the flow, don’t underestimate the value of free-form “play” either.

Dancing freely, jamming on instruments with friends, painting abstract art – give your conscious mind a break.

And let non-judging subconscious creativity rise up. Check out these watercolor painting supplies for expressive art immersion!

9. Track Biofeedback Metrics

If you really want to dial in your biology for optimized flow, tracking key biomarkers is invaluable.

For example, these wearable rings from Oura, Nutrisense Continuous Glucose Monitor, and WHOOP give you 24/7/365 feedback on sleep, HRV, glucose, and much more.

When your nervous system is balanced, your brain enters flow with radically enhanced ease and consistency!

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Enhancing Flow States: FAQ

Here are answers to some common questions about achieving creativity flow states:

What activities are best for triggering flow states?

Flow states depend heavily on achieving the optimal challenge/skill ratio. So stick to creative activities that stretch your abilities while keeping success feasible. Great candidates include painting, photography, graphic design, writing, musical improvisation or even programming.

What causes you to lose flow state?

Interruptions are one of the fastest ways to break creative flow. Distractions like notifications pulling attention, unpleasant sensory stimuli (e.g. uncomfortable chair), biological needs arising (hunger, needing to use bathroom), self-criticism and over-analyzing can all disrupt flow.

How can I turn flow states on at will?

With consistent practice using strategies like those outlined in this article, you can make flow states increasingly more accessible over time. But there is no instant shortcut to being able to forcefully “switch on” these elusive states instantly via sheer willpower.

Be patient with the process of gradually conditioning your mind, body, and external environment for flow. Start laying the lifestyle foundation first and creative flow follows as the effect.

Biohacker’s Toolkit For Flow

Here are some of my favorite supplies for biohacking enhanced flow states:

Feel free to browse my Learn More: Best Nootropics For Creativity guide for additional tactics as well!

I hope these flow-state hacking strategies give you plenty of ideas to unleash greater creative potential. As always, reach out in the comments with any questions. Let’s elevate our consciousness together!

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Erik Abramowitz is a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP), Naturopathic Doctoral student, health coach, and father. He is the primary content creator for HolisticNootropics.com and the host of the Holistic Nootropics Podcast.

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