This is the psychological assessment strategy that can help you to control your impulses.

How do you feel right now? Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired? What do you feel of doing right now? Maybe not reading this article, but hold on, your emotions sometimes tempt you into doing stuff you shouldn’t have done, but you felt you had no option. You do. But if you don’t strategize your actions base on rational thinking, you’re more likely to succumb to whatever you feel you have to do. There’s an assessment strategy that could help you avoid giving into your emotions too easily. Dear friends, you just need to HALT.

Related media: What Is The HALT Method?

Let’s HALT

HALT is the acronym for hungry, angry, lonely, and tired: as in, “Am I hungry, angry, lonely, or tired right now?” This helps you to pause and think about how you feel before you take action to whatever situation you find yourself in. It sounds really simple, but if you overestimate your emotions, your rational self might be absent during critical times. HALT is a psychological assessment tool for addiction and recovery, but you don’t have to be an addict to use it. Of course, everyone could easily fall prey to their own emotions influencing their decision making.

Let’s break it down by each letter.

Hunger: They say a hungry man is always in need; this could be either physical or emotional. Taking time to find something to nourish your appetite could help you gain the ability to operate to your fullest potential. You could also be “hungry” for affection or attention. You just reconnect with the people around you.

Anger: No wonder anger sounds homonymous with hunger, and it’s next in line. Its alright to experience anger, but its really important to understand what’s really happening. Activities like running, or reading could be of relief. But, never ever start an argument — you’ll only get more angrier in the long run.

Loneliness: It doesn’t matter the number of people around you, you can still feel lonely. You sometimes isolate yourself when you feel like the people around you don’t understand you. How weird! Instead of making a decision of unfriending your friends, reach out to someone and you’ll feel some sort of social presence.

Tired: This has a heavy toll on your body and mind; and affects your ability to think and cope. A well rested body is all you need to operate to your fullest potential. Whenever you just “don’t feel like it,” take some time off to reset yourself with some rest, that could help you avoid some terrible decisions you could be making. 

Now Pause And HALT!

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Now imagine this in practice with a hypothetical shopping scenario. If you ever feel buying that new bimbo dress is your best bet to cope with stress, rethink it to yourself. Applying the HALT method lets you take the opportunity to pause and think if that purchase is worth that while and price. Shopping is meant to be with a purpose — if it’s not something you really need, then there’s no need to waste money on something you think will make you feel somewhat.

Before you buy that thing, ask yourself these questions. Would you be: “confident in that dress?” “happier playing that video game?” or “refreshed with that drink?” The problem you have is just temporary and wouldn’t even last the whole day. Emotions around material items are powerful and easy to give into, especially if you see a reward or a better feeling at the end.

Do You Feel Better Now?

Using the HALT method lets you take charge of yourself. Here’s how it works. You suddenly feel the need to buy that awe-inspiring dress that seems captivating, but you pause and think: “when was the last time I ate?” “do I feel upset right now?” “do I miss someone lately?” or “do I need a nap by now?” Have some time to take care of yourself and you wouldn’t feel the urge to use your money to make yourself feel better.

Being self-aware of yourself and your actions is as important to your personal growth as much as helping you achieve a happier and fulfilling life. The HALT method could be used by anyone — be you addict or not. Our emotions are always in a battle with us trying to cope with ourselves. Whenever you feel a little bit odd with yourself, HALT and take some time to take proper care of yourself.

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Written by: Nana Kwadwo, Mon, Jul 29, 2019.


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