me&my health up

How to Achieve Flow and Boost Your Performance: Neuroscience Reveals

November 14, 2023 me&my wellness / Anthony Hartcher Season 1 Episode 184
me&my health up
How to Achieve Flow and Boost Your Performance: Neuroscience Reveals
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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Are you feeling stuck in your daily routine, struggling to find that sweet spot of productivity and creativity? Ever wondered how some people seem to effortlessly excel in their work, sports, or personal pursuits? 

In this enlightening episode of me&my health up, host Anthony Hartcher delves deep into the neuroscience behind achieving a flow state, providing listeners with practical insights and strategies to enhance their performance and well-being.  


Discover practical strategies and insights to help you tap into your inner potential and achieve a state of flow in your daily life. Learn about the common pitfalls that can hinder your progress and how to navigate them effectively. Whether you're an athlete, a professional, or someone simply looking to enhance your well-being, this episode is a treasure trove of knowledge to help you unlock your full potential. 


Dive deep into the role of neurotransmitters like serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins, and understand how they contribute to achieving and maintaining a flow state. Explore actionable tips and mindfulness practices that can guide you towards this optimal state of being, where the challenges meet your skills, and finding joy in the journey of continuous improvement. 


Don't miss out on this opportunity to transform your life and boost your performance. Tune in to me&my health up and start your journey towards achieving a flow state today! 


About me&my health up & Anthony Hartcher 

me&my health up seeks to enhance and enlighten the well-being of others. Host Anthony Hartcher is the CEO of me&my health up which provides holistic health solutions using food as medicine, combined with a holistic, balanced, lifestyle approach. Anthony holds three bachelor's degrees in Complementary Medicine; Nutrition and Dietetic Medicine; and Chemical Engineering.

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Podcast Disclaimer
Any information, advice, opinions or statements within it do not constitute medical, health care or other professional advice, and are provided for general information purposes only. All care is taken in the preparation of the information in this Podcast. [Connected Wellness Pty Ltd] operating under the brand of “me&my health up” here for more

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Anthony Hartcher:

Have you ever been in a moment where time stretches out? And it feels like you've had so much time, yet, when you look at the clock, you think, wow, that time has passed. But I felt like we've done a lot. We've spoken about a lot, we've had a good time. And this is what they call a psychologists call it the flow state. And you've probably seen elite athletes also, in this flow state where everything just seems to go to plan. It's just like magic, or you're seeing see teams of players totally in flow and coherence. And you see the the opposition that just doesn't matter what they do, they just can't break that state of flow that the other teams in. And yes, you have landed on the me&my health podcast, this is my flow state. The purpose of this podcast is to enhance and enlighten your well being, and today I'll be doing that. And we're talking about the neuroscience of the flow state. Yes, learn about the flow state, what it is, what is happening, and how you can get in the flow state is the purpose of this episode. So let's get into more about the flows. So describing that flow state, you've been in it, everyone's been in it, there's been a point in time where you've been so present. So in the moment, that time stressed out, you felt like it's been ages, but it really hasn't been. But you haven't been looking at the clock either. You've just being in the moment. And it's like in a game. When you're playing a game. You feel like you've got lots of time like so that balls coming at you like so, cricketers out there that are listening, there's a ball hurtling or it could be a tennis ball hurtling at them at 140 Ks 160 Ks 180 Ks or 220 K's an hour at them, yet, they feel like they've got endless time to play that ball because they're so in a state of flow. And you see elite tennis players, elite best batters anyone that you know, could be golfers. So Golf was the Borgias forget the term, but it just sort of you hear that nice swish sound of the connection between this this the perfect connection between the ball and the not the racket, how it will come to be the golfers paddle is not a paddle either, anyway , you know, he could tell him that a golfer, the stick whatever it is the iron I'm so. But anyway, it seems to be a perfect connection. And the timings perfect and the directions perfect, and the distance is perfect. Everything about it is in that state of flow. And so I want to share with you today what's happening in terms of our neuro chemistry in terms of our neural connections, neural pathways, and how to get into it, how to get into this state. So it is defined as when our brainwaves get into the synchronous state of Alpha, Theta. So it's at the border of Alpha and Theta waves. Okay, so you're probably thinking what are Alpha and Theta ways? Let me start with the waves of consciousness, Beta waves, okay, so when we're completely awake and consciousness, we essentially in that Beta wave state, and that the frequency of those ways will vary between 12 and half Hertz to 38 Hertz. And so you can have really high belt Beta waves, where essentially, you've got so much information coming in heaps of information to process so much going on, you've probably can relate to those times where you've just got overload, cognitive overload, it's just huge amounts of information coming in from email, from text messages from whatsapp on Facebook, from people knocking on your door, people ringing you, it's just endless, all these disturbances, distractions and all this information to process. So the brain goes into this overload. It's got all these files open, it can't access any of the files. It's like when you're in a stress state, and you got to find something, and you can't find it. You think, oh, no, first of all, I don't even know what I've come here for. I've walked over here in autopilot, but I've forgotten what I've come up for. It's because you've got a lot on your mind. Okay, you're thinking of other things. And you're that file is opened it open for a temporarily opened your access to it. And then all of a sudden, you went to another file and opened it. So that's what happens, our brains opening all these pathways and it gets jumbled, it gets very jumbled and messed up, and then we get too overloaded. And what it does is it's really taking us into our midbrain into the brain that helps us manage a stressful situation. So it's designed to help us manage stress. So whether it's a stress of not eating and not getting any food and hence we've we have a desire to get the food to get the prey, or it's also the stress that helps us to get away from a threat. So when we're got a lot going on in our minds, we feel that we're under threat. We're bombarded with information, too much information. So we'll Looking for a path out and it's so it activates the desire center, that midbrain that I've mentioned in previous episodes, the limbic system, okay? So that's where the amygdala is the amygdala is that fear center. Okay, so that's, that's heightened that's on heightened alert, the hippocampus, the memory associated in that limbic system. And we've also got the nucleus accumbens. And so this all forms part of what other people refer to as the emotional center or, or the desire center. And so it gets triggered, okay, it's thinking, Oh, I've got a lot on a lot too much on I need an escape. And so you, you look externally for this escape, you're looking for this prey or that or to get away from the situation. So either to avoid pain or to seek pleasure. And so you might swing from in order to you know, I'm feeling a bit of pain. Now I'm going to go and swing to the other side, I'm going to chase some pleasure and he might go to an emotionally he might eat a whole chocolate bar. And you can probably relate to this. When you're feeling overwhelmed. You go to the cupboard, and you grab something that's going to help I guess, lift your dopamine help lift your serotonin, okay, because that's what's I guess, in deficit when we're in that midbrain, okay, where our life's under threat. We don't want to feel content, we don't want to feel complacent when our life's under threat. So those neurotransmitters are downregulated, serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, and so they're low. And so one way to get it is a quick look externally for a quick win, quick lift. And that could be the serotonin, the dopamine we get from eating sugar or highly calorific foods, chocolates or whatever it might be the ones that have essentially hardly calorific value, or instant energy value. So instant energy value is glucose, highly calorific values, a mixture of fat and glucose, sugar and fat together, such as ice cream. So those foods become very tempting, because our desire centers activated, it provides some temporary relief to the situation, it lifts the serotonin, the dopamine and we feel better, because we've got a better balance chemistry in our mind, however, it's temporary, okay, because all those threats are still going to be there, or that or that information, that you're not helping alleviate, or looking at ways to alleviating it, or you're just accepting it, it's the way it is. And you're allowing all those disturbances and distractions and all these things through this to do list that is forever long and goes well into the future. And you're just not in the moment. And that's when our time gets the better of you. Or you feel like you just don't have enough time in the day. Whereas in the other state in the flow state, you've got time and space stretched out, you've actually got more of it, how because you're very, in a very coherent way, a very focused a very present, you have more certainty, more confidence. Whereas in that amygdala area, that midbrain, that limbic center, we there's a huge amount of uncertainty that we're looking for certain outcomes, and we know certain outcomes that could be eating the chocolate bar, and that that will bring us a certain outcome. And that is, I feel a bit better in that moment. So we look for that. And it could be a shopping addiction, you might go online and buy something and that thing, you get that new sort of thing that the new shiny thing, okay, that new shiny thing that's coming and yet your dopamine increases, right, because you're excited about what's coming and the reward that's coming to you. And that dopamine builds up and then you open it and it starts to then dwindle it starts then go away for then you go shopping again. Okay, so this is what's happening when we're in a high Beta wave state. And there's different levels of Beta. So that's a real high Beta wave state, which will really drive you into that midbrain, the middle range is probably where you're feeling, you need some relief, you're not desperate for relief, but certainly high Beta, you're desperate for relief. And low Beta is a more functioning state, you're not run by your emotional center or your desire center. So Alpha and Theta, okay, so Alpha is the next range. And Alpha is between 8 and 13, or eight and 12 and a half depending on your decimal place. But that's your Alpha range. And so the Alpha range is a much lower frequency. It's much lower, less information, less information coming in. Okay, so whereas, and the other way to think about this is 5g, so 5g can carry huge amounts of information, but you need more of these towers closer closely spaced to send a signal and to get the carry huge amounts of information, that detail information. And so you think about 5g towers, they're everywhere. And it's like all these disturbances everywhere, sending these high frequency Beta waves into your mind and creating heavy concerns opening all these files. So the lower frequencies such as the Alpha frequency is like then stepping down to 4g, or probably between 3g and 4g, where you've got less towers they carry less information but it's very specific information, it's more focused information, okay, you haven't got as many files opened, you're not as frazzled, you're feeling more in control of things as opposed to out of control. And so that's the Alpha, and then you've got the Theta, which is probably a real drop down to 3g towers, where very few of them can carry not much information. But can can carry it further. So you need less of these towers, because the information can travel further. But yeah, because it's carrying pockets of less information. So but you don't get the nice pictures and the quick speed and the graphics loading up quickly. It's all slow. It's all very slow, okay. But this is slowing down time. Okay. So as we go down these frequencies from high frequency to lower frequency, we have more time, we've got more space, we've got more control. Okay, I mentioned what alpha was, is eight to 12 and a half 13 hertz, and then you got our delta, which is between four and eight hertz, okay. And this is much slower waves, okay? slower frequency, lower frequency. So that means that we are very focused, we are processing less, but getting a better outcomes. Because you're in a state of flow, you're in this state of focus. So you're very focused on one activity. So obviously, Beta, you're focused on many activities, you're multitasking juggling, you got too many balls in the air. And he looked for a quick outlet, which is a glass of wine in the evening. And then you're thinking, Well, I'm still too high Beta, and then I need another glass of wine. Still too high beater ways I need another glass of wine, until you really slow down your wavelengths. And that's why wine can be helpful in terms of depressing that excited state of the brain, it's a depressant, it brings you down, sometimes you can take it too far down. But so once we get into these, these Theta like wavelengths, it's like a, you know, it's in a lower state of consciousness. But what we do is access access higher parts of the brain, we and our broadcasting ability to tap into new possibilities becomes limitless in these lower waves, because they can broadcast much further. So think about 2g 3g, you barely noticed the telecommunication towers around you, because they could carry this very specific information over long distances. So you need less of these towers. And so when we got very specific focus on something that's really important to us something of real high value high priority, when we're really focused on that one information, we can broadcast out into unlimited possibilities, we unlimited connections, so we access this prefrontal cortex, which I've mentioned before, so it's it sits behind our forebrain here, for those watching. And it gives us foresight, and enables us to plan and it opens up the visual expansion in terms of what we can see in terms of unlimited possibilities, okay, so we become, have, we have this cognitive flexibility, okay, when we, in that midbrain, we don't have cognitive flexibility, we're very black and white, it's one way or the other way, it's my way or the highway, it is all or nothing, okay? Whereas we expands our awareness into unlimited possibilities by accessing this higher part of the brain, the prefrontal cortex. So this high part of the brain accesses more potential pathways for solutions. Okay, so we, we start to get into this abstract thinking, abstract reasoning and these weird connections, but you start to find new possibilities in this area of the brain. So this is our creative area of the brain, this is where we can come up with creative ways to solve problems, we can see not just one path out, so not just the lowly bar, not the chocolate bar, or not just the ice cream, right, that's very much the midbrain, the mammalian brain controlling us right, then that's where our emotions are controlling us. Whereas in the forebrain, when we're in this Alpha, Theta, like state, this very focused state, and so the ultimate flow state has been calculated at eight hertz, which is at the borderline of Alpha and Theta, okay. So it's optimal sort of state of mind to be very focused, to be very centered to be very present, where time slows down and you feel like you're, I'm getting more words into this podcast. I'm in this state of flow, and I lose track of time and hence why some episodes seem to you might think they're dragging on forever, but for me when I'm doing them, I don't even notice the time and thinking, wow, wow, so I better start wrapping up now. No, no, not at all that we still got a little bit way to go, because I'm just talking about the neuroscience of what's happening, and so you can relate to it. And I'm drawing the analogy to, I guess the telecommunications towers. So


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Anthony Hartcher:

If we get away from the microwaves, so we go into even a lower wavelengths, which is radio waves, and that's probably more akin to this Alpha Theta light flow state is radio waves, you see one radio tower, and then you don't see another one, you can't see that they're so far apart. But they can transmit really specific information over long distances. So it's very focused. So it's not lots of detailed, it's many parts and many bits of information. It's transferring, very specific, very focused, very centered, very present signals, you're focused on the one problem, okay. And then you start to open up many possibilities. Whereas with our lower state of thinking, the emotional center where we try, and this is the difference between flow and forcing, so when we're in the Alpha Theta, when we're accessing higher parts of our brain, and we can see unlimited potential unlimited possibilities, that is where we find creative solutions, right? And where it's where we're in our flow. However, when we're in the midbrain, we're looking for a quick exit, we're looking for a short term gain in order to alleviate that crazy state of mind is thinking I just can't, this is just too much for me. And it's unbearable. And it's probably you can relate to this, you get to times where you're so frustrated, you're so irritated, you're so annoyed, and yet things are still popping in and coming for left, right and center, you don't know whether you're Arthur or Martha, right. And so then you try to force an outcome, okay. And so this is a difference, when you see teams playing sport, you'll see one team in a state of flow, and everything's just coming off, they're not making a single mistake. Whereas the other team isn't in a coherent state isn't in a flow state. And what they start doing is watching the scoreboard and they start watching the time. And so they start forcing passes, they start trying to force the bat onto the ball. Whereas allow allowing the, you know, the nice flow between the bat and the ball and let the ball do all the work right, as you see in cricketers. So those in a in a great flow state actually use the speed of the ball to just deflect it to where they want to. And they've got plenty of time to play that fastball. They don't need to use any force. Okay. But when you're frustrated, irritated and emotional. And in that limbic system, you're trying to force an outcome, and hence why you just have to have that chocolate bar, hence why you have to have that ice cream, you're just driven by that desire center and trying to force an outcome as opposed to allow it to happen in time. And that's in the flow state. So in the flow state is delayed gratification. We're just focused on what we love doing and what's really, truly meaningful to us, that we allow the outcomes to happen. And knowing what we need to do is to stay in the flow state, you know, that state of flow, and the things will happen in time. But you're not trying to force it to happen at a particular time or a particular place. You're allowing it to happen when it's meant to happen. And so in today's world, you think of all this immediate gratification that we're seeking, we're very much in that stuck in that limbic center, or limbic system. And we're in that emotional center and hence why there's lots of emotions out there and lots of polarised thinking and extreme thinking. It's because we're in that Animal Center. We've been run by our emotions, and we're trying to force outcomes. We're trying to force an outcome to climate change, but it's going to take time to change all the infrastructure that we set up and establish that served us for a period of time. Obviously, it's gone too much. We've taken the environment too much out of balance. And now we're working with the environment to help it restore balance by changing our energy infrastructure, for example, but that's going to take time. And so we just need to start making progress towards it and not try to force the result through extremism overnight. And you see extremism activity happening all throughout the world, around climate action, trying to force things to happen overnight. And again, that's the Animal Center running them, it's the emotional center. And we're not going to find creative ways out of this climate change challenge. When we're stuck in this animal center. It's it requires dialogue, not monologue requires discussion, we can access higher potentials, unlimited possibilities, and we'll find energy that's going to be supportive of the environment or more supportive of the environment. And it will happen in time, we need to allow that time we can't force outcomes. And as you know, when you've ever tried to force an outcome, it hasn't come off quite the way you wanted it to. I allow a state of flow on my podcast, and sometimes that might drive you nuts, because they go on forever. I tried to get across the message. And I'm trying to do as simply as possible, but I want you to have the background to what I'm explaining. So how do we get into to this state of flow. And so this state of flow is described by psychologists is where the skill meets the challenge, okay, the skills got to meet the challenge. And you'll find, when someone's put in a challenging state where their skills not quite up to the challenge, the outcome isn't quite, or the board doesn't come off quite as well as what you wanted to because you're just not up for that challenge. And you see it when people step up divisions, or step up leads, or step up in that massive step change into that newer, higher skilled arena, you'll often see people can't step up to the real challenging situation initially, but over time, their skill level rises up to meet the challenge. So again, it needs to be something that's meaningful to you. And that's where you're going to develop your skill. That's where you're going to have a growth mindset. So it's got to be an area that you really want to grow into, it's important to you, it's got to be important to you, otherwise, you won't make it a priority. And if it's not a priority, you won't develop a strong skill around it. Okay, so the school need to develop over time. Absolutely. And then when the skill meets the challenge, that's when you'll find the state of flow. So when I started podcasting, for example, I was trying to force outcomes, I wasn't comfortable, I didn't have the skill, the skill wasn't there. The challenge was certainly there in terms of putting myself out there. But now I'm more comfortable because the skill levels risen over time. And I've allowed the time to happen. I've been doing this now for three years. And I'm not I don't get a sweaty or nervous as what I did in my earlier episodes. So if you're interested to see me where the skill didn't meet the challenge, and I wasn't in a state of flow, and I was trying to force it, go to my earlier episodes, check out Episode Number one, it was very raw, it was one, check out the first one. I've done over 193 episodes now. So I'm approaching 200 episodes. So you can imagine the skill that's developed. And now when I met with a challenge, such as a, an incredible person that I'm interviewing, I'm less nervous, I'm more in the moment or more in a state of flow. And when I'm doing it myself and doing a monologue, it's a state of flow. Now that my thoughts are coherence, they're coming to me, and you can probably notice it, as I do more and more episodes, the earlier episodes have probably got a lot more lost, kind of off on many more tangents. But now I'm sticking more to the path. Okay, so now we've got to get into so the skills got to meet the challenge, okay. And so over time, the skill will develop provided it's in their area that's important to you, if it's not important to you, you won't prioritise it, you won't develop the skill set. So it's got to be in an area of importance, then you'll be encountered with a challenge that helps us grow, right. And so this is where we get into this Alpha Theta state. And once we, you know, the challenge and the skill meet, and we get into a state of flow, we get into a level of enlightenment, we grow, we grow into a new, a new field of possibilities, where we can take on greater challenges, okay, so it's never ending in terms of unlimited growth potential. So challenge got to meet the skill. And so it's got to be what's important to you. So make sure you keep doing what's important to you. Obviously, this is aligned to my mission during this podcast is aligned to meet enhancing and enlightening the well being of others. And so it's very meaningful to me. So I have no trouble about developing the skill around researching and around practicing, because it's really important to me because it helps me fulfill my mission. Okay, and you can help me fulfill my mission by sharing this with more people. Okay? Because I get out in front of more people and that's ideally I want it enhancing the life and the well being of others. So let's get back into how you can get out of that amygdala, high Beta state and into that Alpha Theta without the alcohol. Without the chocolate bar, without the things that aren't going to serve you long term, I mean, they're going to provide some temporary relief, but long term, they're not going to serve you. So what you can do is obviously, if you can choose the challenge, so maybe not take on such a great challenge, take on a lesser of a challenge initially, that's closer aligned to your skill set. It's like when I used to go to yoga, I would take on a greater challenge than where my skill set was, I was I was a beginner, and I'd say I advanced students, you can do this. And I've tried to force the advanced move, and it's probably why I stopped doing yoga, because I got injured, I was forcing outcomes. Again, this is where skill didn't meet challenge, I wasn't in the flow, and I was forcing outcomes. So you can reduce the challenge, I could have stuck with beginners do beginner level activity, Anthony, okay. And whereas I didn't, I was a fool. And I was in that amygdala and wanting to show off and show how good I was and forcing outcomes, okay, I wasn't being myself. So when you're an authentic state, and being yourself, that will also help you in the flow. So making sure you take on a challenge, or can choose a challenge that meets your skill set. So maybe it's deciding not to step up into that career progression just yet, because you're not ready for it, you think, Well, my skills aren't quite there, I want to have a bit more again, by having the challenge there can really get you to develop the skills faster. So it depends on where you're at. So it really depends on you. Sometimes that challenge just makes you work a bit harder at your skills, and then your skills eventually make the challenge. And this is what happens when you get promotions, right, is that you're stepping into the role and you're in Beta waves, you've got too much information overload. But over six months to a year, you're getting into a more flow state, okay, because you're able to manage your skill is come up to meet the challenge. And so then you're able to slow down the wavelength, you're able to focus on the priorities on what's important. And just work on those areas, and then move on to the next priority as opposed to thinking you need to tackle all the priorities at once and not do anything well, okay, and then to start showing and reflecting in your work and you start getting pulled up for it. And that drives more frustration, that puts you back into the amygdala and gets you very emotional. And then you go for the chocolate bar and the ice cream and the alcohol. So skill and challenge. So we can take on more challenge left the school initially we won't get into the flow state, when we have more challenge than skill that over time, we will get into a state of flow like I have with this podcast, initially, there was too much challenge, not enough skill, and I wasn't very coherent. And people tell me now my audience tells me are you so much more in flow that actually say you're in more in flow? You make more sense, Anthony? That's probably what it is. Okay, so I've had that feedback. In the earlier episodes, I think I just went off in tangents lost myself in my mind and thinking and was trying to force outcomes and thought I was Joe Rogan. And I wasn't I wasn't being myself. So that's really important is you either accept that you're taking on too much challenge, allow the time for the skills to develop, and then you'll get into a state of flow and not forcing yourself into that state of flow. Because you'll force outcomes, forcing outcomes will produce undesirable results, like when they force the pass, or they tried to play a shot that wasn't playable, or just miss time. But when they hear that Miss timing it, that's when they're trying to force things they're trying to force a result trying to force an outcome. But you'll see these players that Michael Bevan was a classic in cricket, he was ready for the challenge when the challenge arose yet to get four runs off one ball or something of the last ball of the game. And he would stay in his flow state and you'd find those four runs, he would see the gaps in the field, he would see the ball coming at him in slow motion, and you could place it right in between the fields man and get four runs. Okay, so we can see more space and opportunity. We have more time when we're in a flow state and that's when the skills meet the challenge. Okay, so I've spoken about that often enough. Now let's get on to how else can you come down your amygdala? How else do you calm down that emotional state? Well, you've probably heard of mindfulness. Absolutely. So mindfulness, being mindful mindfulness activities, which is drawing focus to something isn't it has focused a breath, doing a body scan is is connecting mind and body. Doing yoga practice is connecting movement and breath doing Tai Chi movement and breath or doing boxing you're very much focused on your opponent. So you're very much focused on hitting that ball or hitting that bag or whatever it might be, right. So it's where you draw focus it creates, takes you into the part of your mind where you're, you're conscious that you're not over conscious you get on me and like overwhelmed. In that state of consciousness, you're very conscious, but very single task focused, okay, in terms of what's important to you. And that's where you lose track of time, you have plenty of time. And it's, it's where you see opportunities that you didn't see before, because you see more neural pathways are. So there's more abstract thinking, more abstract reasoning. So you access different parts of your brain, different memories, and you start to come up with creative solutions. And those neurons start lighting up and you start getting a neural circuit created. So neurons that fire together, wire together, so you start to see these new possibilities, they start lightening lightening up, right. And essentially, you have that sort of gamma burst of activity, enlightenment, and you can see outcomes, and you think, wow, that's it, that's the solution. Okay. So this is why doing meditation can bring you into that Alpha Theta state, it can calm down the beat aways by focusing on breath or focusing on the body, and get you into that slower wave state, where you have access to unlimited possibilities, because you can broadcast further into the quantum fields into the quantum realms, okay, we've got this ability to tap into unlimited potential, when we're at the forefront of our brain, we can broadcast much further and tap into unlimited possibilities, and see unlimited opportunities and sees and see solutions that we couldn't see when we're trying to force outcomes. So doing mindfulness practices is really helpful. And it's mindfulness, what works for you. The other thing is getting a good night's sleep. Okay, so making sure you get a good night's sleep. So sleeps really important, because if we're sleep deprived, we start to go into survival mode, where we start to just try it, you know, we're struggling to physically keep awake. And so our brains very much looking for outcomes that are going to be short term that's going to keep us going. Those outcomes are highly calorific food, you know, the foods that are very sweet foods, the foods that we don't want to eat copious amounts of, but we will when we're sleep deprived to keep us awake. Because we're in that desire center, we're very much in that stress state. And it's we can get overwhelmed easily with inputs. And our ability to focus is impaired because we haven't had a good night's sleep, essentially. So when we get into our delta waves, which is between point five and four hertz, so which is lower than Theta, that's when we're in our unconscious state, okay. It's when we, when our body starts to really do it's repair work, a lot of lots of maintenance goes on because of the load. So our brains still active, it's just really low, very low. It's, it's not really caught comfortable, it's not conscious, it's unconscious. So


We'll be back after a quick break. Hey, everyone, this is brain over belly, a podcast focused on human physiology, and understanding how obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and dementia are changing our lives. In today's episode, we explained why we lose muscle as we get older, we all want to stay young and healthy. To do this, we need to understand the factors that lead to muscle loss and aging and how to reverse those factors.

Anthony Hartcher:

So that's our sleeping state. And so if you've had enough restorative sleep the night before, and we've got into those delta waves, the body's done repair, whereas if you're had a poor night's sleep, you're operating more in those higher wave light frequencies, the body hasn't done the repair, it doesn't feel rejuvenated, and it struggles it feels like it's it's under threat. It's stressful. It's physically stressful for the body. So getting a good night's sleep is really important. So make sure you do that. Also, moving your body is really important. Because when we talk about the neurotransmitters, the neurotransmitters are associated with flow state is like serotonin and oxytocin. So oxytocin is feeling connected. It's a meaningful goal that you're pursuing. You're doing a meaningful task, so you feel really connected with it. So serotonin is the mood stabiliser, okay? So we feel content, okay. We feel like we're, we have meaning to our life. Okay. When we're in that amygdala in that desire center, we don't feel content. We don't feel that life has meaning. We we off And we're looking for meaning and we look externally for it, we look for food, we look for shopping, we look for fulfillment outside, essentially, because we've lost sight of our meaningful goal or our purpose. Whereas, you know, when we're connected in that state of flow, we're producing these neurotransmitters that really make us feel content that we're on path where we're on purpose. And that's the serotonin and the oxytocin, that feeling of connection, connection to a meaningful goal. We also produce endorphins, which that it's sort of over, it's 100 times more powerful than morphine. So it really shuts off pain. And so we're, we feel uplifted, enlightened, and so endorphins can be created through exercise. And so, you know, changing the neuro chemistry in your mind can also help change the Brainwave. So which you're operating at, it can calm you and make you feel more content. So obviously, you can do the mindfulness, but then doing some exercise will increase the endorphins and you feel more upbeat, you feel more alive, don't you after exercise, you really do you feel more alive, and that process has cleared its mind. So it's very much a state of joy is when we're in that Alpha Theta, we're doing something deeply meaningful for us. It's really internally meaningful for us. So we have these internal sense of purpose we, you know, our compass is, is pointing in the right direction, we're on path we're on track. So that's really, really important that you not only get a good night's sleep your exercise during the day. The other thing is not over stimulating yourself during the day too, because that overstimulation when you overstep the mark too much caffeine consumption can make you feel frazzled, the excitatory neurotransmitters and so you get quite excited and do you initially feel more upbeat? But that over excitement you get agitated, there's too much you've overshot the excitement. And so we what we're doing is when we get into a state of flow, we've got real balanced emotions real centered, we're really pleased okay, we're, we have a balanced neuro chemistry. And so we don't want too much over excitement because too much over excitement is that we we do we get stuck into that that desire sent we're looking for, you know, when we get agitated, we're looking for a quick outcome. We want to force something to happen to get us to be calm. Again, we don't like being over agitated, we're looking for something calming. If you over agitated, what are you going to do, you're going to take some depressants, you're going to take like, for example, alcohol, to depress the mind to slow it down. Because you're over excited, you're going to chase things that gonna calm you. And hopefully you do resolve sort of things that calm you like meditations. But again, because the chemistry the neuro chemistry, is so out of balance, it's going to take time to break down those, guess those transmitters. And then so that agitation will take time to wear off the half life of caffeine is really high. Okay, you know, anywhere between six and eight hours, the half life of caffeine, so break down caffeine, so if you overdo caffeine, you will be agitated, and you're gonna look for quick fixes, and you'll probably drink a bottle of wine in order to depress the mind quick enough. So again, and feta means you know, anything that speeds you are going to overshoot the mark and in you produce too many of these excitatory neurons, you get too excited in the mind, and you have limited possibilities you aren't open to because you get frustrated you get, as I said, You overworked up, and you're wanting to come down quickly. Okay, so making sure you're not over caffeinated during the day is really important to eating whole foods, foods that again, you know, too much glucose, too much sugar is going to overshoot the mark and change the body chemistry have changed the neuro chemistry. And you'll go through highs and lows. So you'll get a big dopamine here too. And then you'll go into a low and then you'll try to bring yourself up. And so you'll go through your highs and lows through having too much sugar. So having a well balanced diet. You've probably heard that before. It's a bit cliche, but that's really important. It really is important and making sure you're not having too much of anything. Drinking plenty of water is really important to flush out toxins to flush out we don't want toxins building up because it changes the core it causes inflammation and inflammation can cross the blood brain barrier and cause a change in chemistry there and an imbalance there and that's what we don't want. We don't want an imbalance. We want to stay in a balanced state of play stay the centered state. We want to be in a state of flow. So that's a bit about the food. I've covered the sleep the exercise, I've covered the meditation or the mindfulness ways of doing things in order to get you into an Alpha Theta state. And as covered the you know, sticking with purpose, having purposeful goals, it's going to be hard to develop a skill in an area that you're not really interested in or that don't have meanings it's got to have, it's got to be a real meaningful area, then you'll open yourself up to learning it and learning it well and keep learning it and keep learning it until you get mastery. And then you the skill can meet the challenge, you get into the flow state and it feels great, you get that that gamma burst of enlightenment and you get to another level, you're ready to play at another level, then you're ready for a new challenge, okay. And then you're ready to lift master that skill again, because it's a deeply meaningful goal. So that's how you get into a state of flow. And that's what really what I wanted to share with you today around the neuroscience of the state of flow, and how it's different to forcing it and why forced outcomes isn't what you are seeking it is short term, trying to get a short term fix that's temporary, but it's ideally not in line with who you are, you're ideally want to be in that authentic state of view, pursuing meaningful goals, building your skill set, so that you're ready to meet the challenge, take on the challenge, you resolve the challenge and go to the next quantum level. Okay, so and then you'll take on a new challenge. And that's that, that never ending potential of growth that you have, so that you're constantly getting enlightened because skills meeting challenge, you're getting into a state of flow, and you're going up to a new stratosphere, a new quantum field, a quantum level. So that's it for today's episode of me&my health up, I hope it was really helpful for you. Please join me&my health up club. It's a growing community of like minded people. And I'm sharing further insight about like the information I share on this podcast, but deeper insight. And I really support and guide the community of like minded people that we're building. So please go to the link at the bottom of the show notes, you can click on it, support the show, and it will take you to theme&my health up club and join the community it costs very little and you get lots of value in terms of health value, and it will really help lift you up to the new quantum level that you're ready for. So that's it for today's episode of me&my health up. Thanks for years and until next time, enjoy your week. They have what a month depending on how often you listen to me just enjoy it. Okay, until next time next till next time I appeal to you through the topic I'm sharing I'm sure but if you're dialing into every episode I think and appreciate you supporting this podcast, please share it with others Thank you.

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Flow state and its neuroscience.
Brain waves and their impact on decision-making.
Brain waves and their effects on cognitive function.
Brain states and creative problem-solving.
(Cont.) Brain states and creative problem-solving.
Flow state and delayed gratification.
Flow state and skill development.
Meditation and sleep for mental clarity and well-being.
Flow state, neurotransmitters, and mental well-being.
Neuroscience and flow state for personal growth.