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Blog: 163 Why you discovering HALT will help you keep on top of your emotions&feel in control of you

HALT stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. These are the feelings that can hijack your emotions and affect the parts of the brain that control logical thinking. If you’re feeling any of these things it can be hard to think clearly and it’s easier for your more instinctive emotions to take over.

In order for you to recognise and tackle your HALT areas before they start running the show, you can ask yourself a key question when you are facing something you need to do that’s important: am I hungry, angry, lonely, and / or tired?

If you are, then taking action first can have a significant impact on how you manage the situation. The next part of this blog will explain what’s going on in these areas and how to conquer any difficulties they might present.


Hungry

Don’t underestimate the power of hunger to mess with your emotions. Without regular balanced meals the brain may start to become preoccupied by food and your blood sugar levels may dip – which can lead to mood swings and irritability.

It is important to have three balanced meals a day – particularly eating a good balanced breakfast within two hours of waking up. Your choice of snacks throughout the day are important as they can affect your blood sugars and mood. Hummus with veggie sticks, homemade energy balls or rice cakes with almond butter are healthy and tasty snacks that are easy to make, or cheap to buy from the shop. Stopping eating crisps and chocolate might be tricky for to do at first, but you’ll start losing weight, so feeling healthy and looking good will be good for your self-esteem.


Angry

If you feel angry it can be helpful to figure out what triggered it in the first place. Can you do something about this situation? If yes, make a plan and take steps to put it into action – maybe you could apologise to the friend you might have upset or finish the work / your day’s tasks you might have started. This could be life admin, your paid job tasks, or even your housework chores.

If you have to wait to put the plan into action, decide when you’ll do it. If you can’t do anything now, it’s time to let go and move on with something else. You could imagine blowing the problem away on a bubble, or write it down on a piece of paper, rip it up and put it in the bin. Find something enjoyable and active to occupy your time and thoughts, so you’re not just going over it in your mind. I find listening to my favourite music while I have a boogie a good distraction. You choose your thing that lets you let your hair down and to feel free of any stresses in your life, you’ll instantly feel freer and happy.


Lonely

Feeling lonely can seriously colour your thoughts. Being around other people generates mood enhancing chemicals and also helps to prevent your view of life from becoming narrow and negative. If you notice your mood taking a turn for the worse and you think it may be because you’re lonely, make contact with someone you enjoy being around. They’ll probably be happy they can help you to not feel lonely.


Tired

Whether you’ve been overdoing it or your sleep’s been disrupted by your house mates, your kids or your noisy neighbours, tiredness can affect one’s mood. Think about your bedtime habits – are you going to bed early enough or are you waking up worried about something?

Try keeping a notepad by the side of your bed and jot down anything important you need to do, or things you are worried about - so you can clear and free up space in your mind to relax, feel chilled enough to rest / sleep well. This is so you’ll know that none of the important details will be forgotten.


Working and thinking with your HALT checklist, keeping a diary of your moods and what you do to manage them, can help you to become more familiar with your thought patterns and could prevent some problems from rising time and time again.

You might make some discoveries about your behaviour and the way your mood can be or change in certain circumstances.

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