Stress, the opposite of flow
If the flow state is a state where we pursue activities or interests that we enjoy or find interesting, stress is much the opposite. On some level, the work or actions you are engaged with are draining. Beyond that, flow represents an area where you feel confident or comfortable. But stress and anxiety usually comes up when we are faced with tasks that are outside our comfort zone or ability.
The truth is, just as we all have unique talents or values, we have weaknesses and issues. The creative artist often struggles with order, structure or making money or marketing themselves professionally. Often, when we spend time improving our skill or pursue our passions, we develop holes or problems in other areas of life.
A counter reaction to that is the movement to balance. Instead of pursuing our passions, we may feel a desire to be balanced or to just fit in or be normal. The drive to be balanced however, often leads to mediocrity. By trying to be good at everything, we may end up feeling like we aren't really good or special at anything. The more we engage with or try to improve in areas where we struggle, the less time in a day we have to engage in the flow state. By becoming overwhelmed by activities that cause us stress, we can become drained, or anxious, and then, we have no time to engage with actions we love.
That is not to say that these things are not necessary sometimes, but, we should be thinking about how we can spend as much time as possible doing what we love. We should try to be more accepting our flaws and problems, and more open to ask for help with things we struggle with. By allowing ourselves to be at our best, and working together, we can accomplish more than if we try too hard to strain ourselves, or to be perfect.