What Is H.A.L.T. ?
H.A.L.T. (Hunger, Anger, Loneliness, Tiredness) is a helpful acronym that can remind us to take a deep breath to see whether it’s us or an empty stomach that’s talking. Fortunately, these states are very easy to recognize within ourselves, but their effect on our moods should not be underestimated.
There’s a reason we call it stress eating. Not only does it help to eat when our mood is low, it’s highly advised that we eat right to regulate our moods. This is a very basic need that we take for granted because we assume eating is the same as eating well. It’s not.
In one of his live Q and A’s, Jordan Peterson states the importance of eating a hearty breakfast, especially to those who are prone to anxiety.
He says, “This has nothing to do with what you want or what your appetite is… You need to eat in the morning. If you’re an anxious person and you don’t eat in the morning and then you stress yourself out, your body hyper produces insulin. It takes all the sugar out of your blood and that dis-regulates your metabolism for the entire day. You can’t reset it till you go to to sleep at night.”
He then highly recommends that anxious people eat a large breakfast, high in fats and protein, low in carbohydrates.
Like animals, humans are unhappy if their blood sugar is very low. How upset someone gets depends on several factors, like a person’s levels of Neuroticism. Eating a low-carb and high protein diet is paramount for stabilizing mood swings that blood sugar levels influence.
If you’re feeling down or anxious, H.A.L.T. and make sure you’re not hungry first!
Perhaps nobody can explain the detriments of anger like the Stoics:
“ How much more harmful are the consequences of anger…than the
circumstances that aroused them in us. ” — Marcus Aurelius
“Anger is a short Madness” — Horace
We all know these sayings to be true intuitively since we’ve all at some point acted or said things we later regretted because of anger. The stoics believed that anger was always honest. If you hold secrets that you think do more harm than good if discovered, you might want to avoid being talkative when full of anger.
If you’re feeling angry, HALT or you might regret your actions later!
Some struggle with loneliness in crowds while most feel lonely when isolated for long periods of time. Loneliness is a self-imposed problem, but it can also be a result of trying to avoid toxic people.
No matter the reason, loneliness can make us bitter and resentful of others when in a crowd or depressed when we’re alone. It’s a good idea to reach out to friends or family, or go on a walk when feeling lonely.
Before browsing the internet for depression symptoms, H.A.L.T. and check if you’re lonely first!
All our capacities are compromised when our energy runs low so you can bet that your mood will be affected, too. With our ability to think hindered and our emotions more difficult to control, fatigue really sets us up to fail. Getting enough sleep is crucial to keep us mentally and physically ready for the challenges our day carries.
If you’re too busy to check if you’re busy, H.A.L.T. and cut yourself some slack!