H.A.L.T. is an acronym that people use to remember how to protect themselves from relapsing into an addiction. H.A.L.T. stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired. When people use this as a guide they are saying "I should never get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired". If they do, they could be susceptible to relapsing and/or finding themselves in a situation that they may look back and regret later. Even if you aren't involved in a 12 step program, this acronym can help you with day to day life. It is always a good rule in self care to not allow yourself to be too Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired. This week Imagine Hope will educate you this acronym to better your life! Hungry
Most people think this one is obvious, of course if I get too hungry, there will be trouble. This thought is clearly true from a bio-chemical level. Your body will shut down if you are not nourishing it, which will in turn affect your mood. I'm sure everyone can think of a time they have gotten too hungry which has resulted in them being grouchy. Getting too hungry tends to lead people to make unhealthy choices with food. It is always better to feed your body things that will build it up rather than tear it down.
There is also another perspective about the dangers of getting too hungry. But this time I'm not talking about food! Did you know you can have emotional hunger too? Emotional hunger and physical hunger are very closely connected that some people confuse them and become emotional over eaters. Meaning they eat to feed and suppress their emotions more than to feed their body. When you are emotionally hungry, you should ask "what am I hungry for?" Companionship? Affection? Purpose? Love? To have your emotional needs met?
Remember next time you get too hungry- do not search for a quick fix, but make sure you prevent yourself from falling down that slippery slope to addictions and self destructive choices. Keep reading this week for more on Anger, Lonely, and Tired!
Written by Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW
Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Teri enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Teri also does family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.