There are four easy things to check with yourself when you feel like being mean to other people or yourself: it’s called HALT: When you start complaining, making other people feel bad and wrong, making you feel bad or wrong, you think “Halt” Am I Hungry? Am I Angry? Am I feeling Lonely? Am I feeling Tired?” This is something I learned recently and it is not original with me: it is from Bradford Health Services, who help a lot of people with very difficult things.
If you’re Hungry, your mind does not think very well, and it doesn’t have the strength to remember things like: “I shouldn’t do to someone else what I don’t like done to me” or, “Hurting other people won’t really make me feel better” or, “IF I am feeling bad and wrong, making others bad and wrong will just make everyone bad and wrong and I won’t be able to get any help.”
If you’re Angry, you very likely know that this doesn’t work very well: you break things,or hurt people, or just mess something up that you’ll have to fix later. Find out why you”re angry: it’s usually for a very good reason, but it can’t be fixed when you’re screaming at everything and everyone.
If you’re feeling Lonely that can really make you shut down: you can actually pull away from other people! Sometimes the lonely feeling isn’t simple: everyone in your family likes football and loud music, and you like reading and watching tennis, perhaps: you can feel like a stranger in your own home sometimes. But when you know you are lonely, you can look for someone to talk with to find out why and change it.
When you are Tired, of course you’re going to get angry too easily. You can feel like giving up because you’re sure you’re all alone, but it’s just because you’re tired.
When you are Hungry eat some good food. When you are Angry, do your best to find out why and how to change it. If you are feeling Lonely, ask yourself why and where you can find people who are like you. When you are Tired, know that you are and get some rest as soon as possible.