I’m looking for some help on “being in the zone” as is a term in positive psychology, and I think imagination can help us achieve “being in the zone” and feeling as though we are in a state of focus and everything in the mind is aligning and clicking
I’m looking for people experiences here of “being in the zone”, what seems to induce it, and how it feels
Sometimes when we’re playing sports or anticipating something or expecting something or get lost in doing something, we can feel “in the zone”, and I’m really wondering how this can be brought out on a more regular basis
For me it seems to happen when I imagine the stimulus and the movement happening simultaneously. So if I’m playing “Simon Says”, when I’m in the zone, I’m actually imagining what doing what I anticipate Simon says, at the same time as Simon says it.
So if I anticipate Simon saying “jump”, and I imagine jumping at the same time exact tune that the words start to come out of Simon’s mouth, that’s totally when I feel in the zone.
It also comes to my attention that although moments and imaginative scenes appear to be multi-sensational, I’m wondering how much our attention is actually focusing on all those sense at once. Because I feel like under-the-hood, maybe actually just rapidly switching between various sensations in attention without knowing.
Okay, so let’s give an example. I feel like I’m seeing, typing, hearing, feeling, all at once right now… but actually, my attentional capacity is like, not really feeling all those things in the moment even though it “seems” like I’m in one unified “moment”. When I really start to pay attention to all my different senses, I start to notice how when I shift to a particular senses, I realize how much I wasn’t paying attention to it before, so if I start to notice the sound of fingers typing, I realize how much I wasn’t noticing it before.
So enough of that explanation of not noticing all the senses at once. The big point here: it seems that when we are “in the zone” we are seemingly in more than one place or sense at once. Can anyone confirm this a bit with their personal experiences? It can also happen when playing music – you’re hearing it and also feeling the movement of the body playing the music. So my idea of being in the zone is – you’re actually tuning into two/three different senses at the same time somehow? Just interested in other people’s experiences
I’m also wondering about the interference between attention to imagined senses and attention to realtime perceptual senses. Alright, so say I imagine a pink elephant – there’s three ways to do this for myself. One of them is to not really visualize a pink elephant at all and just know what is meant conceptually – that means my realtime visual perception was not interrupted. Basically, comprehension without imagination. The second way is to totally shift my attention for a split second to a pink elephant, then back to realtime perception. In that moment, there was for sure some interference. To some extent, I was attentionally blind to what was in front of me. The third way and very interesting is, you overlay the imagined pink elephant onto realtime perception. I noticed that, if you keep the pink elephant as transparent and static, this really works without any interruption. The interruption happens as soon as I try to imagine the pink elephant in different ways, where I sort of need to switch between realtime perception and new imagined images. Alright, now there’s one last thing I want to add that is fascinating: if you imagine a pink elephant in a visual loop, meaning some kind of repeated pattern which is not new, like moving back and forth, then you can do a pretty good job at overlaying that looping motion over realtime perception without interruption. I feel like I’m ranting here but this is all fascinating and that could be a huge boon to memorizing new places. Like say you go to a new house and want to make it a new memory palace, you might be able to play around with sense-switching between realtime and imaginative senses at each loci. There are a lot of possibilities