Dr. Lara Salyer’s personal experience with burnout in the medical field drives her mission to help individuals worldwide find their flow and rediscover joy in their work. On the Entrepreneur Money Stories podcast, she shares practical tips for business owners to identify burnout, redefine success beyond numbers, and empower medical professionals to tap into the flow. Understanding the four phases of the flow cycle, implementing strategies to clear mental space, and prioritizing meaningful work can lead to sustained flow and prevent burnout. Dr. Lara emphasizes the importance of connecting with intuition and inner signals to enhance the flow experience. By recognizing the contrast between flow and burnout, individuals can take steps to prevent burnout, regain control over their time, and improve overall well-being.

What is flow?

A flow state, in contrast to burnout, is characterized by a sense of mindfulness, fun, and being fully engaged with one’s senses during a task. It is a state of optimal performance that can last from 5 to 90 minutes, boosting self-efficacy while reducing stress and cortisol levels. 

Understanding the four phases of a flow cycle is crucial: starting with struggle, followed by release, where setting conditions for mental relaxation is essential, then entering the flow state itself, rich with serotonin and endorphins, and finally experiencing recovery, allowing the brain to pause and synthesize experiences without electronic stimulation.

Finding flow

Finding an easy flow state can be challenging, especially when stress overwhelms us. Clearing mental space and identifying peak productivity hours are effective strategies for inviting flow into our workdays. Dr. Lara highlights the tendency of entrepreneurs to seek easy dopamine bursts by tackling simple tasks first, but warns that this approach wastes valuable time. Instead, prioritizing meaningful work can lead to a more sustained and fulfilling flow state.

In certain professions, intuition and inner signals are often ignored, yet connecting with our inner selves is crucial for experiencing flow. Dr. Lara suggests using tools such as a feelings wheel to identify emotions and their physical manifestations, as this simple practice can have a profound impact.

The Intersection of Flow and Burnout

Recognizing the stark contrast between flow and burnout, Dr. Lara provides practical tips for preventing burnout. Acknowledging the need for help is the first step, followed by taking deep breaths and utilizing her free restoration plan to improve well-being. Regaining control over one’s time by learning to say no and setting boundaries is also essential.

Key Ideas 

[03:01] Dr. Lara’s mission in the world

[05:54] What a flow state is and why it’s important 

[10:08] How business owners can use a flow state 

[12:27] A few ways to use or find flow states 

[15:48] How do you know if you’ve hit a flow state?

[21:29] The four cycles of flow 

[24:19] How flow intersects with burnout

[26:21] Practical burnout prevention tips 

About Dr. Lara Salyer

Dr. Lara Salyer, a rural family medicine physician, experienced burnout after 15 years in her career. She found solace in painting, drawing, and running, leading her to study the effects of stress on physiology and become certified with the Institute for Functional Medicine. She opened a holistic membership practice, leveraging technology for cohesive wellness in her community. 

With training from the Flow Research Collective, she coaches flow acquisition and high-flow leadership in her Catalyst™ Studio Mentorship program. Dr. Lara aims to teach one million health professionals how to tap into creative flow, eradicate burnout, and enhance happiness. Her memoir, “Right Brain Rescue: One Physician’s Journey from Burnout to Bliss,” explores the creative muse within all of us. She resides in Monroe, Wisconsin, with her family, a lively dog, and endless piles of laundry. 

Dr. Lara’s Free Restoration Plan 

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