How To Use Flow State Coffee As A Physiological Trigger For Creative Work
I’m going to go full cult leader today.
I’m going to explain what Flow States are and how you should use Flow State Coffee as a physiological trigger to do creative work.
So what is a Flow State and why is it called ‘Flow State Coffee’?
Well, at the risk of hyperbole, a Flow State is the optimal human experience. No wait...stay with me!
It’s a mental state in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of said activity.
You can think of it as ‘being in the zone” if it helps.
Recently my friend Abhishek Agarwal shared an article called “contextual flow” in which the author, Zat Rana does a PHENOMENAL job explaining flow.
He quotes the psychologist Mihaly Csikszentm, who recognised and named the psychological concept of flow. Mihaly is the godfather of flow who sums it up as:
“Flow is being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz.”
I love that.
We’ve all had it. When the work just effortlessly flows from your fingertips at the computer, when you have a perfect practice session as an athlete, or even a great call at work.
There are moments where everything clicks and you’re firing on all cylinders.
The frustrating bit is it’s hard to just enter a flow state at will. They feel rare and it’s much more common to be interrupted by your environment and texts or email.
We live in an age of distraction.
Flow is attention. Flow is focused time. It can’t be bought or manufactured. If you can tap into a flow state even a few times in a week the returns are exponential.
So how can we cultivate flow?
For me, it all changed when I read The Art of Learning.
I love this book. The author, Josh Waitzkin, is the subject of the movie “Searching for Bobby Fischer” who was a world champion chess player AND THEN a world champion martial artist in Tai Chi Chuan.
In the book he illustrates the exact routines that he has used in all of his competitions, both mental and physical, and how he achieves peak performance in two insanely competitive fields.
One of the most important aspects of the book is around physiological triggers.
A physiological trigger is an automatic reaction that triggers a physical response to a stimulus.
It can be a song or a smell or a location or a movement that primes your mind and body to do something. It’s a pavlovian response.
Josh used the Eminem song ‘Lose Yourself’ before every competition as a trigger, so much so that even listening to the song now would cause his pupils to dilate and heart rate to elevate on the spot.
The point is that you can use physiological triggers to cultivate flow.
And so, Here is my ask of you, our benevolent customer.
I humbly ask you to get into the proper mindset when you drink Flow State Coffee.
I ask you to drink it as I do, as a physiological trigger to do creative work.
I would like you to set some sort of creative intention. Whether it’s finally writing that book or starting that business or simply starting a new positive habit like meditation and then tie it to the consumption of Flow State Coffee.
I recently wrote an article on my personal site about this entitled Inputs & Outputs about how I balance productivity and serendipity.
In it, I discuss how I drink Flow State Coffee to trigger that it is time to transition to outputs. To create. Quite simply, it’s time to get shit done. I have a pretty simple routine but in doing it I found that I can hit flow pretty consistently now. My mind knows when that coffees done it’s go time.
The benefits in Flow State Coffee are compounded by this habit and I hope they will be for you too.
I’ll say one more time for the people in the back:
Please use Flow State Coffee as a physiological trigger to do creative work.
I know this was a little kool-aid but I promise you if you set an intention and use this as I have. You’ll be pretty astonished where you are in 6 months. I know I am. NooWave DID NOT EXIST 6 weeks ago and now we’re a profitable, real business.
I cannot wait to see what you create with Flow State Coffee.
I really want to spotlight creatives and we’re rolling out more incentives and exposure for you all so stay tuned on that by subscribing to our newsletter.
Please share what you make with us on social media by tagging us @noowaveco on all platforms.
If you'd like you can always reach out to me and nerd out about Flow States @ Greg@noowave.co or @SFWGreg on Twitter.
Cacao v Cocoa and why it should go in your coffee!
What Is This L-Theanine and Why Are You Putting It In My Coffee?!
The most common question I’m asked about Flow State Coffee is “What is L-Theanine?”
Actually, that’s not true. It’s “Why can't this be whole bean?!"
That answer is still: because we can't magically infuse beans with our other ingredients ya big ol dumb idiot!!
Sorry to lash out. I mean we could but it isn't as good. Trust me. We're also workin on a great fix for this. Stay tuned.
The SECOND most common question I’m asked about Flow State Coffee is “What is L-Theanine?”
It's an important question! I could honestly write a book on L-Theanine and its benefits so I’m going to attempt to answer this as concisely as I can. (I’m not good at concise)
So first and foremost L-Theanine is an amino acid found in tea leaves (and some mushrooms).
It’s mainly popular for its ability to promote relaxation without drowsiness. Many people take L-theanine to help ease stress and unwind. I’ll get into the neuroscience of this in a bit and why it’s so important to Flow State Coffee.
It’s been studied for its potential ability to reduce mental and physical stress, improve cognition, and boost mood. L-Theanine has also been shown to help protect against cellular damage induced by chronic restraint stress.
So L-theanine is overall great for anxiety relief and stress. right? Cool.
Remember when I said it’s synergistic with caffeine? On it’s own L-Theanine is pretty rad but it gets really fun when you add caffeine into the mix. Like macaroni and cheese, or OutKast, some things are just better together.
The combination of L-theanine and caffeine has been shown to promote faster simple reaction time, faster numeric working memory reaction time and improved sentence verification accuracy. So now we have some real cognitive benefits as well. My favorite is how it assists with task switching. (Like me singing Aquemini lyrics while typing this.)
The fact that it relaxes you WITHOUT making you drowsy is key. Most things that relax you also sedate and make you tired. Being caffeinated and relaxed is a wonderful feeling. It really solved the balance between productivity and creativity in my life. So how does it do this?
I’m gonna go full Joe Rogan here (never go full Joe Rogan) if you’ll indulge me. Your brain always has some sort of electrical activity going on inside and is producing various brain waves on a spectrum.
There are 5 brain waves:Gamma, Beta, Alpha, Theta and Delta arranged from fastest to slowest brain waves.
So if you’re in deep, deep sleep you’re producing Delta waves. You’re not really aware of anything, let alone trying to actively solve anything but you’re still not brain dead so there’s some activity.
Now, let’s say you’re being mauled to death by a bear. You’re gonna be pumping out Gamma waves because your brain is pretty actively trying to solve that one, very intense problem.
But if you’re like me, and NOT currently being mauled to death by a bear, you probably spend your days in the middle three waves.
You have various stressors, distractions and moments of concentration and flow. The sweet spot are the waves right in the middle: Alpha Waves.
Alpha Waves are present when you’re awake but not really trying to tackle any big thing. Think shower thoughts, or right before bed or in meditation when all of your good ideas come.
Alpha Waves are crucial for creativity.
L-Theanine has been clinically proven to promote more Alpha Waves.
So if we’re going to be “coffee for creativity.” L-theanine is the perfect addition for Flow State Coffee
There is SO MUCH MORE I could say about L-Theanine so if you have any questions about it fire away.
email@example.com or find me on twitter @sfwgreg
Alpha Wave Greg