When we direct our thoughts properly, we can control our emotions. (W. Clement Stone)
Last week I talked about victim mentality and to be honest it was a real tough one. I couldn’t just leave it though. We have an epidemic of it in the western word and in terms of productivity it’s killing it.
Today's episode is considerably more sedate but carries advice that I hope you will find just as useful. I want to introduce you to the acronym HALT which stands for Hungry Angry Lonely Tired. HALT was originally promoted by Alcoholics Anonymous, but is now a well-recognised tool to help you through a number of situations. Whenever you are feeling low or in distress, consider the issues listed here, and then take immediate action to bring yourself into balance.
Confucius says Balance is the perfect state of still water. Let that be your model. It remains quiet within and is not disturbed on the surface. So no matter what you are doing in life or in work balance will always be important. You must find the balance of order and rhythm and harmony in your life in order to maintain happiness. HALT will help you to do that.
Remembering the HALT acronym whenever you are feeling low.
H is for Hungry
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.
A is for Angry
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.
L is for Lonely
Being alone isn’t the same as being lonely. If you are spending time on your own, 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 for positive, constructive interaction with someone, a friend, a partner, a parent, a sibling or even a stranger on a bus.
And T is for Tired
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 as you will be stronger and more energetic if well slept, and you’ll even look better as well!
Halt also means to STOP so when you find yourself feeling 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.
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 the chances are you will not feel rested.
By using HALT when you feel bad, you can greatly improve your mood and your life. It 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 life won’t get on top of you quite so easily.
I’ll put a link to a pdf which goes into this topic in greater detail on filmproproductibity.com where you will also find a full transcript of every episode.
Call to action:
Your call to action today is to think Hungry Angry Lonely Tired and simply to promise yourself that if you are ever in one of these states of mind that you will not take immediate action on important matters until you have dealt with it. Avoid those immediate replies to emails that anger you, don’t go shopping for food if you are hungry, don’t make life changing decisions if you are tired and don’t sit on your own and brood if you are lonely. This simple acronym will improve your mood and incrementally start to change your life. I hope you find it useful!
Today’s episode was suggested by Christina Littleson, so thanks very much for that Christina. If you’d like to suggest
Next week’s episode is another simple one like this. I’m going to tell you about something I did last year that has made dealing with the everyday matters of home life incredibly easy. Join me next time to find out more!
I’ll finish today with the words of Aristotle who said
I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self.
Now take control of your own destiny, keep on shootin’ and join me next time on FILM PRO PRODUCTIVITY AND SUCCESS!
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