Does it Feel Like You're Hydroplaning through Life?
Simple Ways to Slow Down, Stop and Get Better Traction in Our Lives
Slippery when wet
The road signs that warn us of slippery roads, could just as easily read, 'Scary when Wet!" It's frightening to feel your car skimming over the road's surface, feeling you have little control. If you've ever had the unenviable experience of slip-sliding in a car like some freakish greased snake, you have one burning desire - to live through it, to safely stop and to try to avoid future episodes at all cost!.
Officially, hydroplaning refers to that awful out-of-control sensation when skidding across the wet surface of a road while driving. It happens when a tire encounters more water than it can scatter. The pressure from the water in front of the wheel pushes water under the tire. The wheels separate from the road surface. It's just a thin film of water, but it's the culprit lost traction and a free-for-all Slip N' Slide. The result is a loss of steering, an inability to brake, and a block in the use of power control.
If we're honest
Basically, you feel momentarily helpless. And it's unnerving as hell! Most of us, if we're being honest, feel like we are hydroplaning through life a lot of the time. We're zooming along at frantic speeds. We are encountering more 'water than we can scatter.'
There's ever-increasing pressure to do more - to be more. Our wheels are starting to separate and we're feeling a lack of being properly attached to the ground. We are experiencing a loss in our ability to steer; priorities are careening right off the rails! We're feeling our efforts to control our lives are waning.
Get some deeper treads
High quality, deeply treaded rubber tires have grooves that are designed to channel water from beneath the tire. This creates higher friction with the road surface and can help prevent or minimize hydroplaning. We might ask ourselves, "What might help give us 'grooves' to help us regain traction in our life?
Power in our hands
The answer may surprise you! Studies are showing overwhelming evidence that an intentional return to engaging in acts of creating with our hands can serve to substantially 'ground' and stabilize us. It has the potential to give us traction.
Some recommended hydroplaning prevention strategies for drivers are things such as keeping your tires properly inflated, slowing down when roads are wet, turning off cruise control and driving in a lower gear.
What if we were to adapt these strategies to prevent hydroplaning in our lives? We might consider keeping our internal 'air pressure' regulated by practicing good, healthy self-care as in diet, exercise, and relaxation.
Turn off cruise control
That tendency we have to skid through our days needs some attentive adjustments. We've got to turn off the cruise control, learn how to drive in a much lower gear and slower speed and enjoy the ride.
Most of us feel anxious or stressed from time to time at some level and in varying degrees. It's part of being human. Life has ebbs and flows. But currently, there are alarming statistics of the debilitating effects that stress and anxiety are exacting on us. It's impact on our health, our families and our work is distressing at best - frightening at worse.
Donuts and Netflix
We have a sordid array of unsuccessful strategies when it comes to trying to loosen anxiety's grip. We reach for a donut- or two, or three. We scroll mindlessly through social media. We binge watch Netflix. And we wonder why we feel so little relief.
Crafting our well-being
But there is astounding evidence from numerous studies that are linking crafting something with our hands to decreased anxiety and increased well-being. Even when these creative practices are elementary crude attempts at the process of making, their effect can be calming and empowering.
Loosening the stranglehold
Tending to the simplest, most basic expression of ourselves -that of making and creating - can have a transformative effect on our psyche. The gripping stranglehold of stress can be loosened by purposefully engaging in regular creative habits; they're restorative and healing.
Relax and unwind
When we use our hands along with our imagination to make something new our body relaxes, our brains unwind, and our emotions soften. There is a caveat, however. These creative endeavors should focus on the process and not the outcome. The choice for the activity should be one that invites an open-ended approach and not Pinterest-perfect results!
Try it, you'll like it
A few pursuits you may want to try might be things like loosely swooshing watercolor paints, making pinch pots, carving, woodworking, weaving macrame or even trying your hand at something like crewel, to name just a few.
Disperse the python
Open-ended creative diversions help loosen up our 'way of thinking.' You know that 'way' I'm talking about. It's that train of thought that wraps itself and squeezes like a python and hangs overhead like a raincloud. These unrestricted creative pastimes have a magical way of dispersing the python of stress and dispersing the clouds of anxiety.
Truthfully, once you get involved in creative stress-relieving activities the one negative emotion you may experience is that of regretting not starting sooner! But one thing is certain, you will be well on your way to preventing future episodes life-hydroplaning.
Here 's two great book suggestions to guide you in your journey. I've read and worked through them and have found them to be an incredible wealth of inspiration as well as practical instruction. Get them. Try some of the activities and let me know how it goes!
The Creativity Cure: How to Build Happiness with Your ... - Amazon.com
Crafting Calm: Projects and Practices for Creativity and ... - Amazon.com