Remembering the HALT acronym whenever you are feeling low can be a great way to work out how best to move forward.
HALT may originally have been promoted by Alcoholics Anonymous, and is now a well recognised tool of recovery. Whenever you are feeling low or in distress, consider the issue below, and then take immediate action to bring yourself into balance.
Hunger isn't just feeling like you want to eat, it's your body's need for nutrients; since your brain is organic, it needs nutrition to function properly. Just because you don't feel like eating doesn't mean your body doesn't need to eat. When your body goes too long without food your blood sugar levels drop. Your metabolism slows down as well. This leads to a general feeling of weakness, makes it hard to think and you can't rely on yourself to be functioning at your best.
Anger isn't necessarily a bad thing. Anger is a valid emotion, and all your emotions are important. What makes anger a problem is when you lose control of your temper and your behaviour becomes extreme. Anger causes you to do things that you wouldn't normally do, and you may well regret your actions later. An angry person doesn't think things through as well as one who is calm.
Being alone isn't the same as being lonely. If you are spending time on yourown, that's fine, we all need space to think. Everyone needs relationships in their lives; as social creatures, we can't develop as whole persons without social interaction. You should make time each day or so forpositive, constructive interaction with someone, a friend, a partner, a parent, a sibling or even a stranger on a bus.
Being tired and run-down creates so many physical and emotional concerns; you deserve to give yourself regular, quality sleep. Don't deprive yourself of sleep when you're wishing to recover, you will be stronger and more energetic if well slept, and you'll even look better as well!
Halt also means to stop. When you find yourself feeling depressed or out of control, stop or halt yourself; take some time to contemplate your feelings, and have a look at your energy levels in respect to Hunger, Anger, Loneliness and Tiredness.
See if one or more of them applies to you. When we are well rested, our bodies nourished, calm and not as lonely, we don't have to fight as hard to stay positive. Withdrawing and isolating yourself actually makes you feel worse.
I know it's hard if you're upset about something and want to be alone. It's OK to be alone to collect your thoughts. But be smart about it. If you need to be alone to calm down about something, go do it. But then pull yourself back together and make yourself get back to the business of living.
If you find one of the factors of HALT applies to you, fix it. It's that simple. If you haven't eaten, eat. Even if it's just a sandwich or a bowl of cereal or some crackers, eat. If you're overly angry about something, let it go. Sitting around stewing in anger doesn't do anything to help the situation, and in effect you're wallowing in the emotion. Get up and do something to get your mind off it. Take a walk, tear up paper, do something tedious. If you're lonely, go talk to someone. It helps just seeing another human being and saying hi. Talk about the weather, talk about a new movie you want to see, talk about a song you heard, whatever...just talk. Finally, if you're tired, sleep. If you don't get 7 to 9 hours of sleep every day you will start to feel bad.
By using HALT when you feel bad, you can greatly improve your mood and your life. HALT isn't a cure-all by any means, but it is a basic tool to keep your mind healthy. If you can't correct one of the factors, (e.g. if you're lonely and no one is around) do what you can with the rest of HALT.
You'll find that if you try to follow this simple plan you'll start to feel better and things won't be quite so much of a problem.
Why do we need sleep?
Many of us are not even aware that we are sleep deprived. But sleep deprivation is a serious problem - getting insufficient sleep can wreak havoc on your health and general well-being. Read on to improve your "sleep literacy" and help you to get the sleep you need.Read more...
What is active listening?
Active listening is when you actually listen to a person and understand what they are actually feeling without giving them advice on what to do in their situation. Active listening differs from hearing. Hearing is the act of perceiving audible sounds with the ear. It is a passive act. Listening on the other hand, is the active pursuit of understanding what the other person is saying.
What should happen when you are active listening?
When a person starts to tell you information, you will try to judge the person. This can lead to problems. After hearing the information the speaker gives you, you need to repeat what they are saying, since it may not be the same thing that they told you. At this point the person you are talking to should then correct any mistakes before there is any misunderstanding.
When should you use active listening?
You should use active listening when your friends or people you know are talking about something serious. Like when your friend is telling you about how she or he is going to break up with their boyfriend or girlfriend and asks you what they should do.
What to remember when you are active listening?
� You must want to hear what the person has to say. People are not always ready to do this, and sometimes we simply don't want to listen. It is okay to tell someone that you aren't ready to listen when they start talking.
� Take the time to listen and trust in the speaker's ability to work out his or her own problems.
� Hear the speaker out! Listen to the feeling of what is being said. Don't interrupt. Use nods and other nonverbal exchanges.
� Remain calm as possible. Don't shut off your listening by reacting emotionally, or you will receive only part of the message.
What to do and what not to do when you are actively listening?
There are some ways to phrase things that work very well and other ways that don't work so well. People hate to take orders but they love suggestions and they also like to know what you are on their side. When you talk with people you don't want to tell them what to do, you want to lead them to the point where they will come to the "right" conclusion on their own. You want to empower them to make their own decisions about very weighty matters, like their sex life or their future. Never make assumptions or direct statements about their situation, because you don't really know what they are experiencing. Rather tell them what it sounds like to you.
Anger Management is something that reduces emotional feelings. You can't get rid of or avoid the things or people that make your anger happen. The people who are usually angered have very low tolerance to things that would frustrate you. It can be genetic or physiological. Anger is often negative, we're taught that it's alright to show anxiety, depressions or other emotions but not to express anger.
Not all anger is misplaced, and most of the time it's healthy. It's a natural reaction to our problems. It is not hard to focus on finding a solution to your anger. You can approach it with your best intentions and efforts and you got to make a big attempt to face your problems head on.
Some simple steps you can take are-
-Repeat words like "take it easy"
-Remember something relaxing
-Exercise for a while
Mental Health Assosiation
- Participate in two three-hour training sessions at MHASF offices
- Lead monthly community presentations upon completion of their training
- Commit to a minimum of eight months of service with SOLVE
- Access to an extensive network of peer support
- Modest stipend for successful completion of 8 months service with SOLVE
- High-quality professional communications trainings.
SOLVE Program Manager