4 Traffic Tips for Life
Have you ever driven down an unfamiliar road at 65mph and suddenly realized there is a curve ahead!?
You instinctually react by taking your foot off the accelerator and putting it on the brake. This unconscious action probably saved your life!
The road of life is sometimes similar, as we move along at our day-to-day fast pace, a ‘life-curve’ may surprise us. Life-curves come in many forms. It may appear as a call from a teacher announcing your child has fallen, a text from your spouse saying the ‘company car’ will be discontinued next month, or your discovery that you have high blood pressure.
No matter the unexpected or sudden ‘curve’, your body, mind and emotions react with a heightened state of awareness. This survival instinct is a true gift. However it is not healthy to remain in this hypersensitivity.
One of the amazing things about our physical, mental and emotional systems is that it is their nature to return to a sense of equilibrium or homeostasis. When we learn to partner with this organic process, we may avoid getting stuck in trauma and return to balance with more ease.
Road signs are designed to keep drivers safe, create order, and provide essential information. Signs along the road of life may also assist us in the same manner. There are ‘4 Traffic Tips for Life’ that will help you move more smoothly through life’s curves.
4 Traffic Tips for Life – Moving from reacting to responding
1. SLOW DOWN
2. Observe ‘WHAT IS’
Body: Is there tension? Heart racing? Injured? Breathing labored?
Thoughts: What are the concerns in the moment?
Emotions: Is there fear? Anxiety? Anticipation? Confusion?
‘WHAT IS’ the Situation?
Clarify the Facts you know, in the moment. (Example using previous scenarios)
Child fell: not injured; resting in nurse’s office until end of school.
No business car: spouse at work, not able to talk now
High blood pressure: confirms how you’ve been feeling; have medical information to review
3. CONSCIOUSLY CHOOSE
No business car: text spouse to acknowledge information; affirm together you will find options
High blood pressure: call a friend to talk about your thoughts/feelings
No business car: write down options to discuss with spouse and clarify plan
High blood pressure: review medical info; adjust diet/exercise; clarify other options
4. PROCEED with FOCUS
To move from a state of unconscious reaction to conscious responding allows you to proceed with focus. Life-curves give us the opportunity to reevaluate what is important to us. It is as if a spotlight illuminates an aspect of life so we may observe ‘what is’ of present value to us. With this renewed awareness we can make choices that serve our well-being.
On the road of life, there are guiding signs along the way. Slow down so you may see the signs, enjoy the view and appreciate those who are on the journey with you.
Ilene Kimsey, PhD