[CQ-Contest] Fwd: Re: Secrets of Contesting ---- The Flow State

kq2m at kq2m.com kq2m at kq2m.com
Tue Oct 18 00:50:10 EDT 2022

That's fabulous Jim - thank you for sharing that!

It's all true - I can speak to it from fortunate personal experience.
It's part of what makes contesting so addictive and exciting for me, 
even after 49 years and why I loved sports so much when I was younger!


Bob, KQ2M

On 2022-10-17 20:58, Ed Radlo via CQ-Contest wrote:
> That's brilliant, Jim!  You couldn't have said it better yourself.
> 73,  Ed  AJ6V
>     On Monday, October 17, 2022 at 03:35:33 PM PDT, Jim Neiger
> <n6tj at sbcglobal.net> wrote:
> Secrets of Contesting and The Flow State:
>  From time-to-time, we've convinced ourselves that contesting adds to
> our youth, and cognitive skills, and we simply could not excel at
> contesting if we weren't "young".  And that reasoning has sometimes
> worked to convince our significant others that we really really do need
> to fly to that far-off Indian Ocean island next week for CQ WW SSB: 
> "its guaranteed that high speed talking for 48 hours will lengthen the
> period before dementia sets in" (an N6TJ quote).
> Now, we can attest that there's some truth to these arguments. Simply
> stated, when we are immersed in a radio contest, we most probably can 
> be
> in a Flow State.  This state of mind often is referred to by athletes 
> as
> being "in the zone".
> A recent article by Richard Huskey, PhD, Department of Communications
> (!!!), University of California, Davis, reveals that he has spent the
> last 10 years studying the flow state and the changes it creates in the
> brain - how you can find it, and benefit from it.  Being in a flow 
> state
> requires that you put forth effort and drive the outcome.  Certainly 
> our
> contesting efforts would qualify.
> Quoting Dr. Huskey: "One of the key attributes of the flow state, from
> which it derives many of its psychological benefits, is that while
> you're engaged in your activity, you're focused exclusively on it.  The
> flow state occurs only when you're doing something that you're highly
> skilled at... and when you're doing it in a way that challenges that
> high skill level.  Despite exerting themselves considerably, people in
> flow hardly notice their efforts.  Time speeds up"
> "Psychologists have learned a lot in recent years about what the brain
> looks like when in the flow state.   Scientists have found strong
> evidence that when a person enters the flow state, activity decreases 
> in
> the medial prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain associated with
> thinking about oneself.  This evidence supports psychologists
> description of flow as a state of externally focused attention."
> "We also have uncovered evidence that, during flow, the brain
> reconfigures itself so it requires less energy -- kind of a
> "battery-saver mode".  That may explain why flow activities feel
> effortless and time flies while you are doing them".
> Dr. Huskey reports that many benefits from being in flow have been
> observed or self-reported:
>    "  Higher Skill ---  Spending time in the flow state appears to make
> you better at the activity
>       Mood Boost ---  Being in flow just feels good.  If you're having 
> a
> crummy day, getting into flow for a spell can lift your spirits
>       Increased Resiliance --- People who regularly experience flow
> appear better equipped to bounce back after disappointments
>       Greater Productivity --- Frequent flow experiences appear to
> reduce procrastination, prevent burnout and increase motivation
>       Mental Health ---  Flow is associated with lower risk for anxiety
> and depression
>       General Happiness  --- People who often go into flow report
> greater life satisfaction"
> Dr. Huskey adds :  Find the sweet spot.  Once you've decided on the
> activity that will be your conduit to the flow state, make a concious
> decision to push yourself to the next level so that you're at that 
> sweet
> spot between skill and challenge.  If it's a game, seek out an opponent
> who's just a little better than you"....
> And he summarizes his writings with words that are surely music to 
> every
> contester's ears: "There's no such thing as spending too much time in
> the flow state.  Frequently experiencing flow could make you happier,
> healthier, more productive and more skilled at your favorite tasks."
> Vy 73,
> Jim Neiger   N6TJ
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