What is Chaos?
In this episode, I will introduce myself and give you an overview of what chaos is, the different ways it can appear in your life, and how…when it appears, some emotions can appear….such as stress, worry, anxiety, fear, anger….or even shame, sadness or depression. I will then tell you a story from my own chaotic life. I’ll point out the ways I believe I handled the situation effectively, and ineffectively, and what I learned from the experience. I will also give you some tips and tools you can use to handle a similar situation.
25 Nov 2019
Thanking your Mind
Title: ___Thanking your mind ___________________________ It just so happens that this episode is being released on Thanksgiving Day. For some of us, Thanksgiving is a celebration, where we give thanks by eating food. It also can include spending time with friends and family, watching football, having fun, or maybe even planning for Black Friday shopping. For other people, this particular holiday can be frightening, frustrating, filled with obsessive thoughts of food, fears of fullness, and feeling fat. Food and eating can be such a struggle for some people. If you, or someone you care about is struggling with food, eating or body image, this episode can help you become more mindful about your OWN relationship with food, and possibly lead you toward making a mental shift toward managing your relationship with food more effectively. Remember, the purpose of this podcast is to get all of us working together to calm the chaos. And I can’t think of anything more chaotic to a person who struggles with food than being with people on Thanksgiving…where it’s all about the food! Some ways that people struggle with food, eating and body image They are often struggling with feelings. Painful emotions such as anxiety, fear, sadness and shame, and people use food in a variety of different ways to cope with those feelings. Example: a person who is anxious or depressed might use drugs or alcohol to cope with painful feelings, some people use food. Some people avoid food. Others can’t get enough of it. Still others eat till they are painfully full and then devise ways to get rid of the food. The important thing to take away from all of this is that somehow, doing these things with food help the person feel better for a time. However, the long term effects of using food to cope with feelings are often harder to manage and treat than someone who uses drugs or alcohol. Scenarios on Thanksgiving The Food Police The body commenter (good and bad) Thoughts, feelings and behaviors (Think, feel, do) Thoughts about food lead to feelings, then behaviors with food The food pusher The Dieter Unkind remarks in general (even if not directed at anyone in the room) Skills and tools for those who do struggle, and how they can cope: Prepare before the big day by thinking of possible things that could happen, and ways to cope. Visualize yourself coping well with the worst possible situation Keep your confidence Be your own best friend Don’t forget to use breathing techniques Know your zones: scope out the landscape, and safe spots Use mindfulness to notice, early on, any signs of panic, fear, sadness, shame. Breathe into the feeling. A skill called expanding is where you open up and make room for the feelings, breathe into it, instead of pushing them away. Thank your mind…on Thanksgiving….for all the thoughts its giving you. Why? Because it’s trying to help you feel better and protect you from harm. Then…ask your mind to take a step back Pace yourself: go slowly through the process. Treat it as if it’s a normal day. Enjoy food, and be thankful for it. Know your limits. Enjoy the process. Go slowly. Choose your battles wisely…if at all. Cope ahead for this – DBT skill BE THANKFUL! This is the purpose of the day. Be thankful for something. Skills and tools for those who don’t struggle, and how they can be more supportive: Learn about eating disorders – https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/ so that you will recognize the signs when you see them Know the difference between myths and facts. Set aside some time to have a private conversation – be prepared for it to be difficult Express your love and support. Share your own difficult experiences and painful emotions, or with food. Suggest that the person seek help from a physician and/or therapist. Eating disorders are complex illnesses and require treatment from professionals. Try not to ignore the problem. Confronting in a caring way, not judging, trying to understand. Set boundaries to preserve your own emotional well-being. Conclusion: It is so important to recognize what you have in life, and be thankful! My Website: has a resources page and link to my CD “On This Day,” which teaches you to teach you mindfulness in less than 10 minutes throughout the day. You can also reach the Amazon link at http://bit.ly/onthisdaycd Appreciative eating: http://bit.ly/appreciativeeating My open Facebook Group: Do a search on Facebook on “Calming the Chaos,” or reach it directly at http://bit.ly/calmingthechaos1
28 Nov 2019
Black Friday Blues
Title: Black Friday Blues In this episode, we’ll be talking about The Chaos of the Holiday Season. An example of how Holiday Chaos can start…. on Thanksgiving, on Black Friday, and beyond that into Cyber Monday. How the energy changes during this time of year. A couple of short stories about how I have experienced holiday chaos on Black Fridays, or “The Black Friday Blues” A Story of Black Friday past, A Story of a Black Friday present I’ll then present some tips and tools to help you handle Holiday Chaos in the Black Friday future. Managing anxiety, depression and emotional overwhelm can be done!
9 Dec 2019
The traffic that happens when driving on the roads and highways is compared with the traffic that happens in our minds during times of chaos. The pace at which your thoughts travel, the time you spend thinking, and the difficulty of our thoughts often leads to unwanted behaviors. This episode will focus on how to best deal with traffic, both in our vehicles and in our minds, and will provide you with some tools and techniques to manage both!
17 Dec 2019
Most Popular Podcasts
New Years Fears
This episode is for those who feel overwhelmed by life, and are also putting so much pressure on themselves to accomplish things in the New Year that they find themselves even more overwhelmed, stressed out, anxious, depressed, angry, or scared. Some of these people struggle with an addictions, disordered eating or relationship problems. This episode will give you some tips, tools and techniques that can help you manage your mental and emotional chaos in 2020.
5 Jan 2020
Oceans of Emotions
Podcast Episode: Oceans of Emotions This episode of “Calming The Chaos” we discuss the emotional chaos that can happen when stressful or chaotic situations occur in your life. You’ll learn about the five main “Families” of emotions, and the purposes these emotions can serve in times of chaos. Through stories and situations, you will learn some tips and tools and techniques that can help you though times of emotional chaos. What are emotions? The Big 5 “Family” of emotions Fear (and its relatives include worry, anxiety, stress, panic, terror) – “The Grand-Daddy” of all emotions shows up when you think you are in danger. As is true with chaos, fear can be • Real fear (like an emergency situation where your physical body or emotional self is in danger of being hurt) • Perceived fear (when your mind thinks it is in physical or emotional danger). Purpose of Fear: to warn you of impending danger. Fear helps you “To survive and remain alive” Fears can range from being chased or pursued by someone intending to harm you or a loved one, or specific fears of harm to family, health, home, emotional fears (including hurt or rejection). Anger (and its relatives include irritation, annoyance, frustration) Shows up when you think something is in the way of an important goal, or when someone or something is harming, humiliating or shaming you or someone you care about. Anger can also show when: • You think you are getting something you DON’T want • You think you AREN’T getting something you do want. Purpose of Anger: To get things done, whether through attack or defense. It can show you that action needs to be taken. Some choose violent ways to “get things done,” while others get more creative. Anger is the fuel for you to take action to get things done . Sadness (and its relatives include depression, disappointment, defeat) Shows up when you have loss, or think you have loss. It also shows up when things in your life aren’t what you want or expect them to be. Purpose of Sadness: to get your priorities aligned, and so that changes can be made in your life so that you have more of what you want your life to be, and less of what you don’t want it to be. It can be useful for new beginnings, setting new priorities, making changes. Guilt (and its relative includes regret) Shows up when you think you are doing something “wrong,” like hurting people or damaging property or breaking the law. Purpose of guilt is so that you can recognize wrong behavior….behavior that hurts and abuses others or things. and, so that you can make repairs to the people or things that have been damaged. Shame (and its relatives include embarrassment, humiliation). Shows up when you think you ARE something wrong. Shame is often mis-perceived. Like the perception that most people have clean homes, and I don’t. It shows up as shame, as who I am something wrong. When in reality, that’s just not true. I can be a good person…and…have a messy home! All of these emotions can happen in times of chaos, and can show up because of your perceptions about you and your world. I. A story from my life: When I had “Oceans of emotions” Flying over the ocean. a. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy on myself: Situation, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors i. Situation: Flight home delayed. Aching back, Customs took forever. Need to catch a connecting flight. Running through LAX to catch the flight. Noisy. Missed the flight. Need to spend the night in LA. Hungry, tired, back hurt. Anger. Hurt. Fear. They said they would make it right, but they didn’t give us a meal voucher! ii. Plan: We would do whatever we could to get home. Get sleep. Go to the airport. Not a lot of sleep, so I had coffee, even though I knew I had a bad relationship with coffee being an aid to anxiety. iii. Situation: On the plane back to Seattle. I was okay for a while, but when turbulence hit…..I FREAKED OUT! iv. Thoughts: “We’re going to crash. I’ll never make it home, never see my cats again.” “I will never be able to do the things I want to do.” “My clients will be without a counselor.” “I will be doomed.” v. Feelings: Fear. Panic. Sadness. Despair. Embarrassment. vi. Behaviors: Crying uncontrollably on the plane. But I held my head up. II. Here’s what I could have done better a. Aware – Mindfulness. Also being aware of the facts. Or, view it from a different perspective…maybe as a bad comedy. b. Awake - Use skills to calm down the body. I could have used more breathing and self-soothe the 5 senses to help calm me. Describing my environment. The visual pictures that were awake in my mind were all of destruction. So I could have changed my mindset, and visualized success and not failure. c. Alive – Take action. In my mind, think more optimistically, and tell myself another story. I say to my clients, “Talk to yourself like you would your best friend. Validate emotions. d. Alight – Even if you don’t feel this way. What TRULY matters anyway? Nobody has died yet. It’s not over till it’s over. The practice of mindfulness could have helped here, visualizing each second as it passes as one where I am still alive. III. Skill of the day Validate Your Emotions: This is when you tell yourself “It makes sense that I feel this way,” and list the reasons why it makes sense that you are having an emotion. i. Fear: “Of course I feel afraid, because I can actually die in a plane crash.” ii. Anger: “Of course I feel angry, because If it hadn’t been for those idiots at customs, I would have been home already, and not on this turbulent flight.” iii. Sadness “Of course I feel sad, because I’m thinking of future loss.” iv. Guilt: “Of course I feel guilty, because if I hadn’t gone on this trip in the first place, none of this would be happening.” v. Shame: “Of course I feel shame, because the decisions I’ve made led me here.” IV. Skills I used on the plane: Breathing slowly, self=-soothe using touch and smell of my husband, and positive thinking: “We will be okay.” V. Conclusion: It is important to recognize when chaos happens, step back, use skills. a. Aware, Awake, Alive, Alight. b. This may not give you a perfect life, but it sure can improve the quality of the life you are living, in the moments you are experiencing either real or perceived chaos. If you want a peaceful life VI. Further Resources: 1. Access Tracy’s website for resources and links to help you calm the chaos: http://lokahicounseling.com/podcast/ 2. Access my podcast through the following means • Through iTunes / Apple Music at https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/calming-the-chaos/id1489271578 b. Through a direct feed, by clicking the link http://calmingthechaos.libsyn.com/ • Tracy’s CD on calming the mind. It’s called “On This Day.” This CD is available on CD and Digital format through Amazon, Spotify and Apple music at the following links a. Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/This-Day-Tracy-Kenela/dp/B00JJC4G64 b. Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/4Ob1hFmBuXYcdtjY1Fr903 c. Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/album/on-this-day/1209386067
19 Jan 2020
Podcast Episode: Captain Cranky-Pants In this episode of “Calming the Chaos,” we’ll be talking about an emotion of “Cranky,” an emotion that is a relative in the “Anger” family. You’ll receive a description of what it feels like to be cranky, and how this particular emotion can put you at risk for having more chaos in your life. Through stories and situations, you’ll learn some tips, tools and techniques to help you manage the chaos of your mind when YOU are “Captain Cranky-Pants. 1. How cranky can show up in your life. a. It can show up unexpectedly, and make you more vulnerable to the major emotions we’ve already discussed, as well as their related family members. b. Crankiness is an emotion that can serve a purpose, remember…once you experience emotions, your chaos increases. And…emotions do serve purposes. c. Since the purpose of this podcast is to decrease the chaos you feel in your life, we want to give you skills to decrease your crankiness. 2. L will tell you a story about a specific situation when I’ve experienced being Captain CrankyPants, and what I did to handle being in that role. a. As you’re listening to the story, try thinking about what YOU would done in this situation. b. At the end of the story, I’ll point out the ways I believe I handled the situation effectively and ineffectively, and also what I learned from the experience. c. I will also give you some tips and tools that you can use to handle a similar situation. I. What is cranky? Old men and women….and…My cat Oscar When I was a kid, and people didn’t like me playing near their lawns My cat Oscar, who would stride toward me with an intense look in his eyes, saying “MEOOOOW” and looking like he was none too happy about what was going on. Food. Lap. Cranky shows up unexpectedly, when you … • Suddenly realize that you are not happy about what is going on. It could be something physical, like a stomach ache, or painful body feeling. • A person or entity appears and interferes with what you want to happen. (In my case, The Internal Revenue Service. or IRS). II. Why does cranky make sense? Cranky makes sense because anger makes sense. Anger happens when what you DO want ISN’T happening, and what you DON’T want IS happening. So of course, this could make you cranky! SKILL: If you are feeling cranky now, try and use the skill of validation of emotions. Try saying to yourself, My crankiness makes sense because……. (for example, I feel a certain way, and something is getting IN m way of me getting something done). III. Story One day, I just woke up, and I was Captain Cranky-Pants! Symptoms of cranky include (but aren’t limited to) the following: a. Tired b. Headache, back ache c. Low energy d. My family members were upbeat….I wasn’t! e. People were needy, but so was I. Who was attending to my needs?. f. Things kept getting in my way of accomplishing my goal g. Emails. Schedule changes. More things to do. Blah, blah, blah h. Thoughts, feelings, and behaviors i. Thoughts: I’ve done everything I can. And yet nothing gets accomplished. ii. Feelings: Despair. Sadness. Anger iii. Behaviors: Eye rolling. Lip pursing. Fist clenching. Some emails and phone calls that are overly aggressive. IV. Looking back, what could have been done differently? • “Kept a firm eye on my behaviors. Even though I felt cranky, I could act differently • Get more sleep. Practice more self-care. Identify energy drains, and eliminate them from my life, and identify energy resources, and put more of them into my life. • Set an intention to be upbeat, even when you are not upbeat. • Attend to your own needs. You can’t expect everyone to attend to your needs…do it yourself • Pace yourself: emails, schedule changes and things to do can come in time. Pace yourself. Do what you can in the moment, and save the other stuff for later Skills and tools: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy 1. Identify emotion. “I am cranky” 2. Validate emotion. “It makes sense that I am cranky because” 3. Set an intention: “What would I like to do instead?” 4. Visualize yourself doing something other than being cranky Conclusion: It is so important to recognize crankiness, step back, validate emotions, use skills, and visualize yourself doing something other than being cranky. This may not give you a perfect life, but it sure can improve the quality of the life you are living, If you want a peaceful life, recognize when emotions are happening, consider what to do instead, and visualize yourself doing something other than being cranky. If you liked this podcast, please subscribe, rate and review it through iTunes / Apple Music: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/calming-the-chaos/id1489271578 You can also look at past episodes by clicking the link http://calmingthechaos.libsyn.com/ • Further Resources: 1. Access Tracy’s website for resources to “Calming the Chaos” podcast and other links to help you: http://lokahicounseling.com/podcast/ 2. Tracy’s CD on calming the mind. It’s called “On This Day.” This CD is available on CD and Digital format through Amazon, Spotify and Apple music at the following links a. Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/This-Day-Tracy-Kenela/dp/B00JJC4G64 b. Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/4Ob1hFmBuXYcdtjY1Fr903
2 Feb 2020
Episode Title: World Chaos In this episode of “Calming the Chaos,” we’ll be talking about a situation that is happening right now in our world…in February of 2020, that appears to be chaotic. The Coronavirus. The intention of this podcast is to: 1) Give you tips, tools and techniques to help you cope with any mental chaos you have when you hear news of chaos and / or chaotic events around the world 2) To see how the people directly involved in this situation are handling their “chaos.” Before going into the two situations, let’s review the definition of “chaos” What is Chaos? (A review) Complete disorder Unpredictable behavior Random or intense situations Small changes that happen in bundles or are sensitive in nature Disorganized (And my favorite) A confused mass or mixture. Perceived Chaos vs. Real Chaos Perceived Chaos: Is stressful, but non-life-threatening. Those things that “feel chaotic” and the things one tends to perceive as disorganized, random or intense, and that are just “too much” to handle. Like fear of flying, an argument with a friend or family member, being bombed by unkind text messages, or just looking at the mail…or your hall closet! Real Chaos: Life threatening emergencies. These include anything uncontained, such natural disasters, (floods, fires, traffic accidents, mass shootings, riots, power outages). The Coronavirus: History. And let’s consider how it meets the definition of chaos How it meets the definition of chaos – All of the above How I handled hearing about it – Initial panic, breathing, calming the body, checking the facts. “What’s true now?” How people directly affected are handling it – The Cruise Ship Diamond Princess Lady from Oregon, tested positive and was separated from her husband while in quarantine and receiving medical treatment. Skills used: Social media to communicate with husband, family and friends Watching movies Thinking positively (positive suggestions) “We’ll be home soon” Noticing signs in her body Elderly male who wasn’t in quarantine, but didn’t receive 2 hour updates as promised, and didn’t receive food for over 12 hours. “I could go into a coma if I don’t eat soon.” Passengers who don’t test positive, but feel like “sitting ducks.” Vulnerable. One family not separated, but making the most of it. “We consider ourselves lucky that we haven’t been separated from our children.” They are coping using exercising, stretching, using social media to chat with friends and family, playing games, watching movies, but in general, missing out on the life they want to live, and the things they want to do outside of the cruise ship cabin. Update: Those who choose to return to the United States on the charter aircraft will be required to undergo another 14 days of quarantine. "We understand this is frustrating and an adjustment, but these measures are consistent with the careful policies we have instituted to limit the potential spread of the disease." Skills and tools we can use: The “NICE” method works for those who are directly and indirectly affected by real chaos: Notice the feelings in your body Identify and validate the emotion(s) Calm the body using soothing technique Evaluate your connection to the source: how much news do you really want: An obsessive news listener A regular news listener A mindful news listener A “No News at all” listener Conclusion: Whether you are affected by real chaos, or whether you are affected by the media’s portrayal of the real chaos others are experiencing, it’s good to learn to notice your feelings, and how they show up in your body. When you are directly affected by a chaotic situation, you’ll see your environment change, and you are faced with having to make adjustments to keep yourself safe. You can use the NICE Method. Also, when you are indirectly affected by seeing chaos in the news, the NICE method still works. And from there, you’ll find a calmer place in your mind to deal with the real chaos that is happening in your life or find a calmer place in your mind to deal with the chaos you see happening to other people. Visit my Website: at www.lokahicounseling.com and click on the Podcast page with ways to get to my podcast. Practicing mindfulness has been shown to reduce stress and increase clear thinking in times of chaos. On my website, under the Podcast page, there is a link to my CD “On This Day,” which teaches you to teach you mindfulness in less than 10 minutes throughout the day. You can purchase the CD on Amazon at http://bit.ly/onthisdaycd, or in digital format at https://music.apple.com/us/album/on-this-day/1209386067 Follow me! Facebook: Lokahi Counseling, at https://www.facebook.com/lokahi.counseling.9 Twitter (@the_calming) Instagram (calmingthec) LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/tracy-kenela-79935b5/) YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7qISnLR8T4g-bSDu-pW9LQ?view_as=subscriber Libsyn: calmingthechaos.libsyn.com/
16 Feb 2020
The Chaos of Recovery
Episode Title: The Chaos of Recovery with Stacy Schilter-Pisano, LMFT, CEDS In this episode of “Calming the Chaos,” we’ll be talking to Stacy Schilter-Pisano, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Certified Eating Disorders Specialist at The Emily Program in Washington State. The Emily program offers a variety of different ways to help those who struggle with eating disorders find recovery. Stacy and I are both passionate about treating eating disorders in our local, national and international communities. And so now, during National Eating Disorders Awareness week, let’s listen to Stacy and I talk… as two Certified Eating Disorders Specialists….about the chaos that can happen in the minds and bodies of those who are struggling with eating disorders, and especially in those who decide that they want to enter into a program to find recovery. Let’s listen in! Stacy’s Introduction – The Emily Program The Emily program offers Intensive Outpatient, Intensive Outpatient or Partial Hospitalization services to treat clinical Eating Disorders and Body Image Dissatisfaction. Their goal is to help those who struggle with food, eating and body image recover from behavior patterns that they have been using for coping with stress, and find recovery. The steps to recovery: When the environment changes – Chaos Happens! Intake: Just getting the courage about an eating disorder creates chaos Their mental health experience, their lived experience and experience with food Am I sick enough to admit? Or downplaying or minimizing their sickness People experience some chaos with being vulnerable talking about their behaviors that have been secret Fear: People might find out about me…is there someone who knows me and find out what I am struggling with? Is the intake provider judging me? (Racing thoughts) When feedback or recommendations happens, there is a LOT of chaos After the recommendation, clients experience: Mental gymnastics - fear of changing, and “what you are suggesting requires me to make some major changes in my life to recover. Overturning life doesn’t seem feasible A Higher level of care (Residential or a 35 hour per week commitment) results in an acceptance of reality and deciding what to do…admit or not? 50-60% Accept the recommendation – Acceptance of reality 20-30% don’t accept, but will do another service (such as outpatient treatment) Motivation is low: on a scale of 1-10 (one meaning not motivated and 10 meaning extremely motivated), most people are usually 2-4…not sure they want to do the things that are required of them to get well. How to calm the chaos when people admit to the program Warm, welcoming and calming environment and space Tour of the space and give them an idea of what to expect / experience The first day: orientation with Dietician, Medical and Therapist Describe to them in structure and information in advance – help them feel welcomed and comfortable Giving them a semblance of what will happens eases the mind Therapists help them feel grounded in the program Dieticians and Therapists help them feel grounded when eating Skills coaching when chaos gets really intense Prompting to self-soothe using the four senses (the fifth being taste) Prompting to distract when it gets really difficult Turning the mind away from the chaos that threaten to overwhelm Checking the facts: “Will that food you eat make you fat?” Dietician can help you check the facts. Motivational interviewing: “Why did you actually enter this program, anyway?” Do people get used to it and use skills automatically? Yes, over time they do get used to using How do you help yourself? Empaths experience people’s distress Neutrally noticing my own responses (angst within myself) Notice your own experience Non-judgmental Self-Validating – it deserves honoring Letting go of things that are beyond my control Turning mind away from the client that may not be okay, but I can be okay Experiencing emotions and not judging the emotions or the experiences Being curious about what is showing up As a therapist, take no credit for what the people do or not How Therapists do Self-Care Stacy: Mind-candy, stories, take me away from the therapeutic experiences, - decompressing tims Tracy: Audiobooks – hear a story and take me away Information and links: The Emily Program is a national program, based in Minnesota, Ohio, Pittsburgh and Washington State. Each location offers individualized care for eating disorders, including assessment and treatment at a variety of different levels of care and within a variety of different disciplines, including Medical, Psychiatric, Psychotherapy, Yoga and Art Therapy and Dietician Assistance. Find out more information about The Emily Program at www.emilyprogram.com You can follow “Calming the Chaos” podcast in a variety of different ways! Podcast Website: calmingthechaos.libsyn.com Tracy’s Website: www.lokahicounseling.com Facebook: Lokahi Counseling, at https://www.facebook.com/lokahi.counseling.9 Twitter (@the_calming) Instagram (calmingthec) LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/tracy-kenela-79935b5/) YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7qISnLR8T4g-bSDu-pW9LQ?view_as=subscriber
28 Feb 2020
World Chaos - Part II
Episode Title: World Chaos – Part II In this episode of “Calming the Chaos,” I’ll continue to talk about the chaos that continues to happen in our world today. This is an update from the podcast episode in February of 2020 when I talked about the Coronavirus, because things are changing quickly in our world today! Besides the Coronavirus there are two other contagions that are spreading across the world and have been labeled “Chaotic.” The stock market fluctuations and the tornado in Tennessee. Health Chaos Market Chaos Natural Disaster (Tornado) Chaos The intention of this podcast episode is to do the following: 1) Review the definition of “Chaos,” along with the difference between real and perceived chaos 2) Attempt to sort through these three events and determine whether they are real or perceived chaos for you 3) Give you a story about my own personal experience in the past month and where I am now 4) Give you one tip that can help you cope with real or perceived chaos I. Let’s review the definition of “chaos” • Complete disorder • Unpredictable behavior • Random or intense situations • Small changes that happen in bundles or are sensitive in nature • Disorganized • Confused mass or mixture. Real Chaos vs. Perceived Chaos – both have to do with the emotion “fear” Real Chaos: Life threatening emergencies. These include anything uncontained, such natural disasters, (floods, fires, traffic accidents, mass shootings, riots, power outages). Real chaos can cause fear, which helps us take action in times of real emergencies. Perceived Chaos: Is stressful, but non-life-threatening. Those things that “feel chaotic” and the things one tends to perceive as disorganized, random or intense, and that are just “too much” to handle. Like fear of germs or natural disasters, flying, or losing all of your money. Since both Real and Perceived Chaos are related to fear, here are some examples of real fear / real chaos, and perceived fear / perceived chaos Example I – Real Fear. If we… • Fear that a germ can kill us, and we have underlying health issues, are having symptoms and are at high risk • Fear that a tornado will destroy our home, and we live in Tennessee and our home was destroyed • Fear that the stock market will take all our money, and all our money is indeed gone All of these situations can result in real fear, and can cause “real chaos.” Example II – Perceived Fear. If we… • Fear that a germ can kill us, and we’re feeling fine • Fear that a tornado will destroy our home, and we still have a home • Fear that the stock market will take all our money, and we still have money All of these situations are likely perceived fear, and can cause “perceived chaos.” II. How do you know if your chaos is real, perceived, or both? The ACE Method: a. Awareness – neutrally noticing b. Check the facts Evaluate: If it is real, the facts will tell you, and you will need to take action to solve the problems. If it is real, the facts will tell you, and you’ll need to take action to keep yourself safe • Health Chaos / Coronavirus: Keep yourself, family and others safe from disease • Market Chaos: Figure out the best options for your finances (financial planner, free financial resources) • Tornado Chaos: Keep your physical body safe and well while you are homeless If it is perceived, the facts will tell you, and you’ll need to take action to calm your inner chaos, or the chaos of your mind, while being free from danger. • Health Chaos / Coronavirus: Enjoy being well! • Market Chaos: Be grateful for the money you have! • Tornado Chaos: Enjoy the home you live in, and the people and family members III. My own personal journey: The Influenza. a. At work, I opened Louise Hay’s book “Heal your Body.” b. I looked up influenza, and wondered, “What does Louise Hay say about this?” • Influenza = possible emotional response to mass negativity and beliefs. Fear. Belief in statistics o Tell yourself: “I am beyond group beliefs of the calendar. I am free from all congestion and influence. • Respiratory Ailments = possible emotional response to fear of taking in life fully o Tell yourself: “I am safe. I love my life.” c. At home, I noticed social Media posts from well-meaning professionals who are trying to help people…but I noticed some panic. Could it be that these well-meaning professionals (including myself) are actually increasing chaos and overwhelm? The reality that I could be part of the problem by offering too many resources, tips, tools and techniques hit me like a ton of bricks. “There has to be a better way to handle this!” d. I decided to look up the Wikipedia definition of Influenza. It comes from the Italian word that means “Influence,” or “illness due to unfavorable influences. i. Unfavorable = “Not Helpful ii. Influences = “The power to affect someone or something.” So….Influenza means “The power to affect someone or something in an unhelpful way. This made me re-think the amount of information I offer my listeners, as I consider the possibility that I may actually be part of the problem of overwhelm. IV. One Skill: “Shift your mind toward what is good, truthful and helpful for you.” This can look like…. Being mindful of unhelpful influences Refusing unhelpful suggestions that could cause panic or paranoia (“You need to fear this!”) Taking in positive suggestions (“I’ll do what I can, when I can, and have faith that things will work out”) Keeping the law, and not breaking it like people did in my home town of Olympia (they stole protective masks from one of our local hospitals) Appreciating your surroundings, including the people, places and animals in your life Practicing Gratitude Conclusion: Do what’s best for you! Listen to “Calming the Chaos” Podcast by visiting calmingthechaos.libsyn.com or my Website: at www.lokahicounseling.com and click on the Podcast page with ways to get to my podcast. On my website, there’s a link to a mindfulness CD I created called “On This Day.” This CD teaches you how to practice mindfulness in less than 10 minutes throughout the day. Practicing mindfulness has been shown to reduce stress and increase clear thinking in times of chaos. You can purchase the CD on Amazon at http://bit.ly/onthisdaycd. or in digital format at https://music.apple.com/us/album/on-this-day/1209386067 Follow me! Facebook: Lokahi Counseling, at https://www.facebook.com/lokahi.counseling.9 Twitter (@the_calming) Instagram (calmingthec) LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/tracy-kenela-79935b5/) YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7qISnLR8T4g-bSDu-pW9LQ?view_as=subscriber Thanks for listening, and take care!
8 Mar 2020