HALT: An Emotional Checkpoint System
Have you ever found yourself about to fly off the handle at someone for what would normally be “no good reason”?
Ever been confronted with something seemingly minor that took you to frustrated tears when it normally would not have?
Have you ever lashed out verbally, or sulked off, out of character, and wondered later what provoked you to be so seemingly silly?
Once you learn the HALT system – and teach yourself to see this verbal/emotional train wreck in progress – there actually is something you can do to head off a lot apologizing later!
The HALT system calls us to see this scenario spiraling and HALT ourselves and check four simple things:
I was really really amazed how often when I get emotionally fragile, I find that I’m completely failing one or more of these four things. Suddenly what seemed random and out of my control all of a sudden was adjustable!
The hardest part really is catching ourselves snowballing a situation. Often when one of these is out of wack, our emotions get ahead of our thinking and when we are out of balance this can lead to some problems in a fast hurry!
Lately, with being in the early stages of a divorce and upcoming separation, coupled with health issues I’ve had all my life, combined with launching a business, trying to keep up with social media, combined with all those other little inconveniences known as LIFE… I have often found myself failing not one or two but all FOUR! Wow talk about an emotional train wreck waiting to happen.
Truth be told I’m hanging in there pretty darn well all things considered but that doesn’t make this easy or give me any more nerves that aren’t already frazzled. I guess this is my way of saying that if you’ve found me short on time, attention span, patience, grace, or the ability to not go off on a rant… well… now you know why. HALT has been one of the tactics that has been instrumental in helping me continue to function as much as I can without letting the strain of whats going on cause my emotions to make mountains out of molehills in other areas of my life. (Well.. at least most of the time.. LOL!)
So, next time you’re interacting with someone and things start to get heated or emotional … and you hear your brain puzzling over what could be setting you off… remember to HALT and check to see if you are hungry, angry, lonely or tired.
The reverse of that is also true. Protecting yourself from extremes of these four can help reduce emotional volatility and lead to increased stability and sense of well being. Sometimes something as simple as getting a snack or calling it an early night can help prevent having to do some major explaining the next day to someone we care about or respect or is a client!
HALT is a simple emotional checkpoint that can help you reduce emotional fragility and increase your stability by checking on just a few simple things. Use it as often as needed!