To work out is to relieve stress

요즘은 많이 일 때문에 아주 바쁘지만 날마다 아직도 체육관 에서 운동을 해요. 해 보니까 스트레스를 풀 수 있어서 좋아요.

These days I am very busy due work and other duties, but still I’ll work out at the gym every day. When I am traning I relieve stress and it feels good.

Good decision-making, habituation and the importance of flow

You’re right in the work, you lose your sense of time, you’re completely enraptured, you’re completely caught up in what you’re doing…. there’s no future or past, it’s just an extended present in which you’re making meaning…
– Mark Strand on writing poetry (1991)

One may wonder why some people are able to do multiple, and sometimes quite complex and difficult, tasks within the same narrow timeframe as everyone else, and still have a relatively normal and social life.

As I have previously said, there are several aspects and factors involved, but quite much is related to both good decision-making, habituation and inspiration.

When it comes to the latter, one cannot except to be or to feel inspired all the time but of course this dimension does certainly matter. I mean, if a person never feels inspired and just complete particular tasks due to diligence or ‘expectations’ then one may question why one is doing something regurlarly at all. And I do not imply things such as to go to work or to prepare food for one’s children. (But to the extent to which one is interested in flow related to work there is always Lightly). What I think of is rather related to hobbies, interests, activities and especially what to do with a certain amount of leisure time and disposable extra income.

You can also call inspiration flow, a concept that psychologists specialized in human happiness and related topics, such as Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, have investigated. That is, when you almost lose the sense of time and feel completely enraptured by a certain activity. I think that most people are able to find the flow every now and then, although the amount of time and frequency differ much from one individual to another.

For me this is largely related to both reading, writing and exercising, but it can also include more Dionysian events, such as to walk in a rainforest among dangerous animals or climbing a hill or a mountain. And that is partly what makes life worth living.

Citatet ovan är knutet till inspiration. Man kan även kalla det flow – då man alldeles fullständigt går upp i någonting som sker i nuet. Personligen kan jag koppla detta till både att läsa, skriva och träna, och mindre ofta att göra vissa aktiviteter i samband med till exempel resor.

När man hittar flowet i tillvaron, och bortom alla klichéer verkligen lever i nuet, når man ett av de viktigaste tillstånden som livet kan erbjuda. Det är därför viktigt att hitta redskapen för att nå dit.

Tidigare har jag nämnt både vikten av att göra bra val och vanebildning som viktiga faktorer för att optimera fritid, ett visst mått av extrapengar och måluppfyllelse, men utan inspiration – i alla fall stundtals – vore det nästan meningslöst att göra återkommande aktiviteter som man själv kategoriserar som betydelsefulla.

Utöver tidigare inlägg kan jag därför rekommendera den ungersk-amerikanske psykologen Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi som har tittat närmare på frågan om flow och dess betydelse inom ramarna för mänskligt liv.