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Calming the Chaos


Calming the Chaos is a podcast by Licensed Mental Health Counselor Tracy Kenela. She uses profound and often humorous stories from her own life to illustrate how chaos can show up, and how emotional it can be! Anxiety, depression, fear, worry, shame and overwhelm can be managed using a variety of simple tools, skills and techniques. Tracy uses her experience as a counselor and her own personal work to provide you with hope…as well as some simple coping techniques, support and encouragement... that will help you move toward a more peaceful and enjoyable life.

Mar 8, 2020

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!