Emotional Health

178. Navigating mental chaos and how to face it

August 9, 2023

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Feeling overwhelmed and mentally chaotic? You’re not alone. We have the perfect solution to help you navigate through it all. We’re exploring how your mind works, specifically the roles of our primitive brain and prefrontal cortex, and how they affect how we handle challenges. Remember, everyone faces difficulties in life, and the key to overcoming them is focusing on the long-term benefits. 

What if we told you challenges are just circumstances and your negative thoughts are normal? We dive deep into this idea, encouraging you to embrace uncertainty, accept the chaos in your mind, and find comfort in not having all the answers. And remember, you’re not alone. That’s why we invite you to join our military woman community on Facebook. Share your experiences, connect with others, and find support from people who understand. Don’t forget, taking care of yourself is important, as is your relationship with God. So tune in, learn, share, and grow with us!

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[00:00:00] Wendi: Hey sis, welcome to Beyond the Military Podcast, where faith led military women overcome burnout and create more balance. Just imagine having enough time to focus on your faith family, and have more fun while also serving as a woman leader. In this podcast, you’ll walk away with the tools to help you navigate the busy life of a military woman, organize your mind, overcome overwhelm, create a prioritization playbook, and a balance blueprint for integrating faith, family, and career.

[00:00:28] Wendi: Yeses in that order. Hi, I’m Wendi Wray , woman of God wife, mama of two army veteran and certified life coach, and I’m here to help you create a life of meaning outside of the military, a life of laughter, joy, and intentional free time. If you are ready to overcome burnout and create balance as a faith led military woman, sis, this podcast is for you.

[00:00:50] Wendi: So loosen up your laces and grab your coffee because it’s time to step into freedom and peace.

[00:00:55] Wendi: Hello ladies. And welcome to episode [00:01:00] 178. I hope you are ready for this topic for this episode because I’m ready. I’m over here with my kombucha. As you guys know, I am trying this new thing and I’m enjoying it. It tastes really good, especially a strawberry lemonade. One that I am consuming at the moment.

[00:01:17] Wendi: Delicious. Um, again, if you’re not a kombucha drinker, highly recommend that you try it out, at least at the bare minimum, because it’s delicious. And especially when it’s nice and cold and it’s, you know, in this hot weather, which. By the way I hope you are staying. Cool. And you’re not going out there in this heat because it’s so hot.

[00:01:38] Wendi: It’s been a little bit better here. It’s going down a little bit here in North Carolina, but again, I know some of you may be in Arizona or those high areas in Texas. It’s it’s getting hot. Y’all it’s it’s really, really hot. And I just encourage you to drink water, stay hydrated. Don’t forget the little simple tips that we were given in the military. Drink water. [00:02:00] Seriously, drink water.

[00:02:02] Wendi: All right. Well, I hope you’re excited for this topic because, or maybe not excited. Maybe that’s not the word. But I hope you’re ready for this topic because listen, We all have problems. And with problems comes chaos. And by that, I mean, in the mind, in our brain, we all have something that we’re trying to overcome an obstacle or challenge.

[00:02:24] Wendi: Something that just gets thrown at us from nowhere. And when I tell you that that’s literally what I’m going through right now. I’m telling you, I feel like I’m in this valley. And so I figured why not share how I’m dealing with this mental chaos that I’m having. While I’m in this valley because it I’m telling ya it gets, it gets real ugly sometimes. And I want to encourage you. I want you to feel encouraged.

[00:02:49] Wendi: And yes, it’s going to suck. Trust me. It’s going to suck mentally, emotionally. Physically, it’s just going to suck, but I am here [00:03:00] to remind you that you’re not alone. And that there is hope. There is always hope, especially when you are grounded. And God’s faith in his ultimate Providence. And so, again,

[00:03:14] Wendi: That’s what I’m here for. I’m here for it. And I hope that you are too, because today. I am going to walk you through kind of what I’m doing with my personal life and not necessarily personal life personal. Um, steps that I’m taking to help me. Really under, not even understand, but be in the moment with my personal, um, challenges that I’m having. I don’t even want to name them problems, but they are somewhat problems as well.

[00:03:41] Wendi: And so most of the times, if you are not aware of what’s happening in your mind, as you’re literally thinking about it in that moment, you will then get sucked into. A pretty much mental state of chaos. If you’re not [00:04:00] supervising your mind, your mind will immediately gravitate to chaos like your mind. It does not know.

[00:04:08] Wendi: What is really best for you unless you guide it. Because here’s the thing. We have two parts of our brain. One part of our brain is what I like to call the toddler brain or primitive reign, where it’s there to protect us. And so when we have problems, right? When there are challenges that come up, obstacles, our mind wants to act like a toddler.

[00:04:28] Wendi: It really just does. It’s. The MOLST human instinct for it to do, because it just wants to protect us. It wants us to be safe. And that’s what it immediately goes into. So, If you remember any, maybe any time that you went into like, um, flight and fight mode from flight to fight mode. You’ll know that that was your primitive brain. That was trying to keep you safe. It was trying to protect you.

[00:04:56] Wendi: But then we also have our other part of our brain that [00:05:00] this is a part of the brain that I want you to be more familiar in, more. Conscious of.

[00:05:06] Wendi: Is your actual prefrontal cortex, which does all the actual. Um, cognitive thinking of what is actually happening, aware. Of the future aware of what is best for you in the long run? And so everything that I try to focus on is focused on how this is going to benefit me in the long run. How is this going to serve me in the long run? Right? Because most of the time we do get sucked into like, I want immediate results. I want this to be an immediate impact.

[00:05:38] Wendi: But unfortunately it doesn’t happen like that. And so what I want you to focus on and encourage you to do. Is to really focus on a longterm way of thinking or how you’re going to show up when problems and challenges do arise because. Like I said before, we’re not perfect. No one is perfect. No one has a perfect life, no matter what social media tries to, you know, um, [00:06:00] show us or, you know, give us this view of a perfect life or a perfect way of doing things. It’s just, it’s not possible.

[00:06:07] Wendi: We’re living in a broken world. So, whatever challenge you may have maybe having it right now. And they may not be a big challenge. I may not be a huge obstacle. But what I do want to offer you is to start training your mind to start. Really paying attention to what’s coming in what thoughts you’re having.

[00:06:26] Wendi: And how you’re supervising your mind because if not, you’ll get complete chaos. Problems. Most of the time, we’ll create a little bit of panic. And sometimes it will compound and it created a lot of panic. But if you’re ready and you’re practicing, and you’re really understanding how your mind is working or how it works, then it will be a light easier for you to supervise it for you too.

[00:06:52] Wendi: Be the one that’s actually guiding it and leading it versus your primitive brain that wants to create all this panic around the [00:07:00] challenges that may not even be as challenging as you may think. And so I’ve been hit with a bunch of different challenges. And by that, I mean, personal also just different challenges that I’ve been exposed to.

[00:07:15] Wendi: Um, when it comes to just how I am showing up predominant for my family, but also I’m just in a different two way, even as a daughter. And so there’ve been a couple of challenges, right? And most of the time we want to get so fixated on.

[00:07:36] Wendi: The presence of that problem, the presence of the challenge or the obstacle. That we lose focus. On the presence of God on our faith, we lose focus on who really is in charge here. And so I’m sharing that because of, I almost did that. I almost lost focus. Of what [00:08:00] my beliefs are. My values and what I really stand firm on the foundation of my faith.

[00:08:05] Wendi: And so I want to offer you today to really take a moment and ask yourself. Am I doing that in this moment with whatever challenge you’re having. And you’ll know if you’re feeling as if there’s so much chaos going on in your life. So, if you’re feeling that way, then that means that you are not focused on the presence of God, instead of you’re focused on the presence of your problem. You’re focused on the presence of your challenge of that obstacle.

[00:08:32] Wendi: And so I want to offer you today to take a moment. And really ask yourself. Ask yourself. Where do I stand? When it comes to. Staying focused on the presence of God, meaning. He is the one that’s in charge in control and he knows what’s better for you. I know, we sometimes think that we know what’s better for our individual selfish selves. [00:09:00]

[00:09:00] Wendi: Our cumin of flesh that we think that we know what’s better for us when we don’t even know what the future holds right. Only God knows he’s our creator. We don’t know, we’re just creatures here. And so. I want to offer you today to just take a moment. And. If the answer is that you do believe, and you know, your values and your beliefs, are they, you know,

[00:09:26] Wendi: That one God is always in control in that when you focus on him, Everything else will come along the way as it’s supposed to. But also understanding. That a problem, a challenge. Is only the circumstance, meaning that that’s a situation, right? Like that’s a circumstance, it’s it is what it is. It’s a fact.

[00:09:51] Wendi: It’s not an opinion. It’s something that’s happening. Right. So, whatever it may be, let’s say a challenge came up financially or a challenge [00:10:00] came up in your relationship. Uh, challenge came up at your workplace, whatever it may be, that’s the circumstance. So now the only thing that can happen. Is, what are your thoughts about that circumstance? Like what are they and it’s okay. If you have negative thoughts about it.

[00:10:18] Wendi: It’s okay. If your thoughts are completely, I mean, Completely negative. Maybe you have no positive, no neutral thoughts about it. And it just sucks. Right? It feels. As if it’s just terrible. Like this. Problem this issue, this challenge obstacle. It’s just never ending and it sometimes feels that way.

[00:10:37] Wendi: And you then end up in this valley. You end up as if you are alone. And this hole in this valley. And you have Hills around you. And everybody else’s on the hill, but you you’re like in this valley and you’re like, how do I know. Overcome this challenge or take care of this problem. How do I do it?

[00:10:55] Wendi: Sometimes we want to just continue to sink, which is completely okay. And it’s [00:11:00] completely okay for you to feel that negative emotion it’s completely okay for you to feel as if you’re alone in that moment. Because here’s the thing. God wants us to reach out to him. He wants us to connect with him. He wants us to.

[00:11:13] Wendi: Call on him. Prey, whatever that may look like for you, stay in his word. So that you can then get out of that valley so he can then come to you and get you out of that valley. How he does it. I don’t know. Or maybe you do know. But at the end of the day, you know, that you will be taken out of that valley. Right. But you can’t be taken out of that valley foreign you don’t.

[00:11:39] Wendi: Reach out to him. Two. You’re constantly feeling like you’re in this mental chaos and you’re just continue to dig yourself a little deeper in three, you just. Allow this, um, spiral to continue. And not supervise your mind. You don’t take any action. To help yourself to get out of that [00:12:00] valley. Now, some of us may be in the valley longer than others, and it’s completely okay to.

[00:12:05] Wendi: But what I’m offering here today. Is for really focus on dealing with. That chaos, because it’s going to happen. We’re always going to be offered a bunch of negative thoughts that aren’t going to serve us, but it’s up to us. Uh, to really take care. Of supervising the chaos in our brain. That’s just the way it is. Our brain gets offered.

[00:12:31] Wendi: Over 800 thoughts. About external circumstance that’s happening, especially when it’s something that is not going your way. Right. Something that you’re like, okay, this came out of nowhere. What what’s going on here. And so. Understanding. That one, you have no control over what other people are doing. Other circumstances that are happening around you.

[00:12:55] Wendi: You begin. With, um, focusing [00:13:00] that this is a problem, right? And what do we do when we have problems or when we have challenges or obstacles? We find a solution. So now how do you focus on finding the solution? And you may say, well, Wendy, I have no idea what the solution is. This is why my chaos continues to compound.

[00:13:17] Wendi: This is why my prying. Is panicking because I have no idea what’s going to happen. Great. We don’t know. Right. I don’t like surprises. I’m one of the very few people. That don’t like surprises, at least for my understanding. Everybody else that I know around me, my friends are like, oh, I love surprises. Surprise me.

[00:13:36] Wendi: Not me. Don’t surprise me. I don’t want to be surprised. I want to know exactly what’s going to happen. I know exactly. I want to know exactly what is happening around me. At all times, because that’s just who I am. And you may be similar to me, right? Maybe that’s the way you think too. And it sucks when you don’t know.

[00:13:55] Wendi: An actual. Simple solution. You’re like what? There’s so many [00:14:00] options that could happen. So many ways is problem. We can continue to compound. And be challenging and impossibly, even more challenging. But here’s the thing, when you let go. And you let go of this problem of being a problem. That’s not.

[00:14:14] Wendi: Or that doesn’t have an actual solution because it does, we just don’t know what it is. I think that that’s the missing, that’s the gap. That’s the missing piece here. You just allow yourself to not know for a little bit. And you give yourself options. Okay. It may not be B it could be a, it’s a possibility that the solution is see.

[00:14:34] Wendi: But it’s okay. If the ultimate solution is de. Now you not only let go of what it could be or what you think it could be. But now you’re allowing yourself to just. Be in that moment or in that feeling of the unknown. Of maybe not knowing, right. You don’t know what’s next. And I don’t know what’s next. Right? Nobody does. [00:15:00]

[00:15:00] Wendi: But for some reason, our minds think that. By someone telling me that this is what’s going to happen next, or this is like the ultimate final answer. The ultimate final response or solution to your problem. That we’re going to be more at peace. But I’m here to offer you that that stops. What if. You allow yourself to just decide on what the solution could be.

[00:15:27] Wendi: Let’s say you’re like, you know what, I’m going to allow this problem to have be as a solution because it’s an option, right. It’s an option. So for example, let’s say the problem is your car breaks down, and this is kind of like one of the most simple. Um, analogies that could give you that it’s come to mind right now.

[00:15:44] Wendi: So let’s say. Um, my vehicle breaks down. Like I literally get stuck at a light and I’m like, okay, great. Now I have all these people looking at me. I’m embarrassed. What’s happening. I’m going to be late. I’m not going to make it. All of these things are coming up. Right? Like my mind is complete chaos at the moment.

[00:15:59] Wendi: And I’m just giving you this, [00:16:00] like very small. Challenge problem. You use your own whatever’s happening over there. But what then will happen? Is that okay? I will then identify that I have a flat tire. Right. Maybe that’s what happened. So there are different solutions that I have. I could call my insurance company. I could call someone to help me with the tire. I can ask someone that’s close by to help me.

[00:16:24] Wendi: You know, with the tires swapping up the tighter. There are so many, but I get to choose one at the moment and I’m going to go with the first one. I’m going to call my insurance. They’re going to come help me out. I’m going to get an Uber. I’m going to get to my destination, everything else we figured out eventually. Right.

[00:16:41] Wendi: And so when I do that, I’m already giving myself space. Two one. Go along with. One not having all this chaos in my brain, right? Like, oh my gosh. Now I have to. You know, pay this or this is coming out of my pocket and you know, all these things that your mind is going through, like, oh, how [00:17:00] will they ever understand that I was late because I had a flat tire, all of these things, I’m just going to.

[00:17:04] Wendi: Quiet, all of that. And just go on about my business because I picked solution. Hey, that’s my solution. Or I could just be consumed in all the chaos, like, oh my gosh, she was gonna, you know, I’m gonna be late. What are they going to think about me? I don’t have time to be calling, um, you know, my spouse to come help me, or I don’t have time to, you know, call somebody else. Like all these things can be coming up in my mind.

[00:17:33] Wendi: Or. I just allow it. And, you know, I sit there and I’m frustrated. And then figure out a solution, right? Whichever one. Works best for you. But the one that’s going to work for you is the one that’s going to give you the less chaos, right? The one that you decide on ahead of time. The one that you are not only willing to do.

[00:17:57] Wendi: But you’re like, you know what, I’m just going to go with the one [00:18:00] solution. I’m just going to focus on the solution. Oh, and I’m going to pray about it and I’m going to stay focused on the next step. Just the next step. We’re not thinking too far ahead. Because if we do that creates more chaos. And it then creates and compounds more anxiety or stress or overwhelm or frustration for the feature.

[00:18:21] Wendi: Because remember nothing is guaranteed. Yes. My insurance company said that they’re going to do this for me because I pay them every month or whatever the thing may be. But things happen, right? Maybe they are behind maybe. Something else happens on their end, that they can’t come for me until a certain amount of time. And now it’s delayed. Right?

[00:18:43] Wendi: And so nothing is guaranteed. But for some reason in our minds, you want to be able to see the full picture. We want to see. All the steps that are going to happen in order for us to feel some type of peace. And so I’m here to offer you today to not focus. On [00:19:00] all the action items on all the steps that need to happen.

[00:19:04] Wendi: For you to have their solution instead of just focus on one thing at a time. And then also staying focused on God’s presence. Like God is always, always near. Always always near and he knows exactly what our problems are. We don’t want to lose focus on God because he’s the one in control. And when we do lose focus on his presence.

[00:19:29] Wendi: We then go into more chaos. We literally dig ourselves even more in this valley. In this whole. Instead of. Figuring out a way on how we can get out of this valley. And like I said before, everyone’s time or the amount of time they’re going to be in the valley everyone’s is different. It’s a matter of your own personal experience, right?

[00:19:56] Wendi: And it’s okay if you need to be there for awhile. And fill those [00:20:00] negative emotions. And feel as if, you know, you’re just so overwhelmed or whatever that emotion for, for you maybe. Frustrated. Exhausting, whatever it is. It’s okay. Feel that. Allow that to happen. In your body. But then immediately after that, or even during.

[00:20:23] Wendi: Pray about it. Pray about all your challenges, all your problems. And I promise you, he’s going to guide you. He is going to guide you. He’s going to help you get out of it. But you have to reach out to him. You have to seek him. That’s what you have to do. And I want to share with you. Ever since.

[00:20:45] Wendi: Helping me, not only through my own challenges. But also to remind me. That he’s always near.

[00:20:55] Wendi: And this is Psalm 1 45 17 through 19 the [00:21:00] Lord is righteous in all his ways and faithful and all he does. The Lord is near to all who call on him to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him. He hears the cry and saves them. I promise you that he’s always near, he’s always there and he will always take you out of the deepest hole. The valley that you’re in. So whatever challenge that you’re having any problem.

[00:21:27] Wendi: Don’t allow it to become anything that you start panicking about, because if you do feel like you’re in this mental chaos and you are not relying on God’s presence. You’re more focused on. Your problem. You’re more focused on that challenge. And take that focus away from that. And put that focus on God, because his presence is everything.

[00:21:49] Wendi: He is a solution, right? But being more specific to you, to your problem, to your challenge, what is a solution? Pick one. Like I mentioned in last [00:22:00] week’s episode, we all have choices. That is the power that we have the power to choose. We have freedom of will. He is allowing us to choose. What’s best for us.

[00:22:11] Wendi: So allowing yourself. Too. One no. And be aware that you’re having a mental CA there’s so much mental chaos going on in your head. That you want to supervise it now? You want to be able to supervise it while you’re in this valley while you feel. And while you’re in this hole and you feel like everything is just not working.

[00:22:33] Wendi: So that’s what I want to encourage you to focus on today. I want to encourage you. To be focused on his presence and not your challenge. And I had a problem because it’s so easy to do that. Our brains are readily available. To put us into panic, to put us through chaos, to put us through, um, believing that we are alone in this when we’re not. And so that’s what I wanna offer you today.

[00:22:59] Wendi: To [00:23:00] focus on his present and not your mental chaos. All right, ladies. And listen, if you’re going through this now, and you’re like, I have no idea where to begin. I have so much mental chaos going on. There’s just so much that I need to figure out and I need help and I need some coaching on this. I need to really start taking action and start moving forward. Instead of staying here. In this area in this valley i want to invite you to schedule a free consultation with me where you’ll spend a 45 minutes with me not only going over what you’re stuck with, or maybe the choices that you need to make decisions or the indecision.

[00:23:39] Wendi: That you’re in. And I will walk you through a step-by-step plan of exactly what’s going to help you move forward. Right. And uncover a limited beliefs that you have there. So again, I want to invite you to schedule a free consultation with me. All you have to do. Is going to www.wendiwray.com/consult also in the show notes so that you can [00:24:00] schedule a call with me. All right. Have a great rest of your week. Talk to you soon bye

[00:24:05] Wendi: hey lady. If this podcast helped you, challenged you or inspired you in some way, please leave me a written review for the show on Apple Podcast and share it with another military sister. Helping you integrate balance, prioritization and growth in your relationship with God is my ultimate calling. I’m so blessed that you are here, and please join us in the faith led military women community on Facebook at bit.ly/beyondthemilitarygrp

[00:24:32] Wendi: again, it is bit.ly/beyondthemilitarygrp all right. Talk to you soon. Bye.