How Tea Helps Me Get Into A Flow State

A few weeks ago I wrote about listening to one song over and over again on repeat to improve focus. There has been a lot written about flow states, or “getting into the zone” as it’s often called. The Wikipedia entry does a good job of summing it up:

In positive psychology, flow, also known as the zone, is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by complete absorption in what one does.

We’ve all been there. That feeling is hard to define but you know it when it’s happening. The challenge is in figuring out how to get there whenever you want (or, in reality, most of the time when you want). It seems as if the base requirements for almost everyone are to be well rested and in an environment where distractions are eliminated. That song technique is a relatively new entry into my repertoire.

My other go to technique that I’ve been using for much longer is to drink a cup of tea while I work. It’s almost always green tea, and almost always loose leaf. After the last post I started thinking about why this has worked for me for over a decade. I came up with four reasons:

If you look at some of the nootropics (aka smart drugs) that are hitting the market, they often contain caffeine and l-theanine. I’d much prefer to get some of the effects of those without any potential risks. Tea has been around for over a thousand years, has many additional health benefits, it’s readily available, and it’s remarkably affordable.