I have roots in 12-step communities. I have learned life lessons, many of which are reduced down to a few letters or words. If a challenging feeling comes on, rather than dive head first into it, I think HALT and check a few things:
1 – Have I eaten? Maybe I am hungry and I wasn’t paying attention. Or I don’t even feel hungry, but upon reflection, I haven’t eaten in a while. There is a good chance that what is happening is low blood sugar. And rather than try and figure that out, I can just have a snack.
2 – Angry. I don’t know when I am angry sometimes. Self-righteous anger is even worse, because then I feel energized and right. But usually, if I am angry and not aware of it, I am in great danger of being insensitive or hurtful.
3 – Loneliness is subtle for me, because I like to spend time alone. But sometimes I just need to go out for a walk and say hello to the people around me. Or reach out to friends to see how they are, so I can get out of myself.
4 – Tired – mentally, physically, emotionally. Fatigue comes in many forms, but in most cases, a nap helps.
HALT – hungry, angry, lonely, tired. It is a handy way of checking in with myself when I become emotionally or spiritually unbalanced. The point of this checklist is to see what might be driving my feelings, before I do or say something that would no longer be relevant if I had eaten a snack and taken a nap.
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