Have you ever wanted to bite someone’s head off just because they had the misfortune to cross your path when you hadn’t eaten lunch? Or hadn’t gotten enough sleep the night before? Or when you were already angry about something else? Ever sit alone — or worse, in a crowd — and feel lonely and irritated at anyone and everything?
“Self-help” is full of catchy phrases and sayings, and a lot of them are more cute than useful, but this one is a keeper. Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired: H.A.L.T.
When you feel irritated or anxious, one — or more — of those four conditions is likely at work. And if not noticed and tended to, they can lead you to very bad places: explosions at others, self-destructive acts, relapses into addictions.
The genius of HALT is that it reminds us of several things at the same time:
To halt before we act out, and talk to God about what is the underlying things that trigger our bad behaviors and choices.
To tend to our physical and emotional well-being — not just go running around on fumes without eating and sleeping.
That these feelings have a very short life cycle, and once we see them for what they are and let go of our attachment to them, they lose their power over us.
Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired
Are you anxious or irritated? Are you beginning to attack someone or lose control? Are you feeling hopeless, or like giving up and returning to an addiction? HALT! Pause — especially if there is an escalating situation. Take a deep breath or count to ten.
HUNGRY: Did you eat at the last regular mealtime? Or did you skip it?
ANGRY: Is your judgment clouded by anger right now?
LONELY: Are you feeling disconnected from other people, whether alone or in a group, but without making an effort to connect?
TIRED: Did you get enough sleep last night? Many people are so unaccustomed to what enough sleep feels like that this may be new territory.
If you identified one of these problem areas, if possible address it. Eat, nap, calm down, or focus on really actually engaging with people or helping someone else.
If you identified a problem area, but can’t address it right now, acknowledge that you are feeling this way and that you let yourself get into an bad state.
The common issue with Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired is that they take us away from conscious contact with God, which is our natural state. They kick up fear — either an obvious survival fear or a subtle fear that we’re not going to be OK down the road. Fear, as I see it, is not a thing of itself; fear is the absence of God. Fear, in essence, means you’re not trusting that things are as they’re meant to be; you’re not trusting God’s plan.
If you are accepting Reality — God’s plan — wholeheartedly, then you are not afraid of anything. If harm threatens you, you respond appropriately but have no reason to fear. Don’t get me wrong; I experience fear. Everyone experiences fear. I’m just saying that when I do, I’ve fallen away from trusting God, even if only for a moment.
“In my anguish I cried to the LORD, and he answered by setting me free. The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Psalm 118:5-6.
~ Mary Lindow ©
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|Mary Lindow has a passion for encouraging others in all generations and careers or vocations to live and express excellence through personal integrity, healthy accountability, and wise management of talents and skills. She is a sought after keynote inspirational and humorous speaker and teacher throughout the United States internationally in Ministers conferences, International Spiritual leaders Conferences, and in National and International training seminars for various organizations.|