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An introduction to a lecture

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Transcripts

Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to the first lecture of our new course in Positive Psychology. While some people may associate psychology with looking at what's wrong with us, and at what problems we have, there is much more to psychology than that. Positive psychology, for example, looks at how to help people become happier.

This lecture begins with a question: what makes a happy life?

Now, I'm going to give you one possible answer. A happy life is a life in which you are completely absorbed in what you do. Now, how does this compare with what you and your partner said? 

This answer comes from the work of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and the theory of flow. Csikszentmihalyi is a psychologist who has spent much of his professional life on the study of what makes people happy and how we can find happiness.

Csikszentmihalyi suggests the theory that happiness is not caused by external events or things that happen to us. Our perception of these things and how we see these events either makes us happy or sad. In other words, if we want happiness, we have to actively look for it. However, this does not mean that we should always look for happiness! Csikszentmihalyi believed that our happiest moments happen when we are in a state of flow.

The theory of flow can be summarised like this: when we are totally involved in, or focused on, what we are doing, we are in a state of flow.

Csikszentmihalyi got the inspiration for this theory when he noticed how artists worked in a studio. They completely lost track of time, they didn't notice they were hungry or tired, and they could work for hours, even days, without stopping. Anyone I have spoken to who has experienced this state of concentration has said it's difficult to explain. The best way to explain it is that it is like being in a river and the flow of the water carries you away.

For the rest of this lecture, I will explore this theory of flow in more detail. First we will look at Csikszentmihalyi's life, and how it influenced his ideas. Then we will look at the conditions that go with a state of flow. What creates flow, exactly? Finally, we will look at activities that can help us achieve flow in our everyday lives. Will this course make you happy for life? Well, maybe. Maybe. 

Right, let's get started. If you look at the next slide …

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Intermediate: B1

Comments

yes , I have been in a 'state of flow' while I doing an activity.

sure i have been in state of flow while i doing things completely absorbed me like solving problems for programmer otherwise i admit and mush of times i get out of state of flow especially when i have exams sequentiality i can't control myself well that's make me nervous in this phase. however i love it and that's give me more confident in what i am doing ^ _ ^

I am learning a lot in this course and that make me happy, the fact that now i know something new in this day. I think that happiness can be supported by our own mind, no matter the situation we are passing through.

Honestly, I do everything purposely, like learning English because of my work and immigrant. If I must say in the state of flow, that is when I am shopping, I can do it for hours and completely forget about time and phone calls. That's ridiculous.

My son and I love going out to read a book each one on starbucks and play soccer on the weekend. I thing that I´m in state of flow.

I think I have time, sometimes, when I m in state of flow - that is when I do different activities with children. With children around me I feel complete and full of beans, it s something I can t explain, so I tryed hard to make them happy, instead of it, they make mi happy more every dayy

Have you ever been in a 'state of flow' while doing an activity?
Yes, I have been in a 'state of flow' while doing something that has the motivation, for example, I can study English all-day because I feel that it's necessary and improving my language skills. Also, we are in 'state of flow' when we are fall in love..and our all thoughts and actions are followed by a person who we love. But it has an explanation. When we have motivation in the brain increased the mix of neurotransmitters: adrenaline, norepinephrine, dopamine, serotonin, and phenylethylamine. So, for motivation or 'state of flow' need to keep healthy and in balance our neurotransmitters, especially dopamine that controls our motivation to something. And I think, to have a happy life is not mean to have everything in the world, but it is how you feel when you do work or live with somebody. Our psychological health is a measure of happiness.

Done for me.

I forget something else, like putting off my contact lens all day, while being in a state of flow. (* >ω<)=3

I think I have been sometimes in a state of flow while doing some activities. For example, while spending my time on social media talking with my friends or when I spend my time reading about a subject that interests me or listening to an interesting debate.
Studying also specially interesting subjects takes me in state of flow.

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