Community//

HALT! To Manage Emotions

A tried and true method to keep on top of emotions.

HALT!

Do you know what it stands for? It’s a great technique for anyone to help manage emotions.

Never Let Yourself Get Too . . .

  • Hungry
  • Angry
  • Lonely
  • Tired

Have you ever noticed just how much any of these, especially when ignored too long, can really affect your mood? Managing HALT is essential to keeping a healthy balance in life for you and your kids.

HUNGRY

As you probably know, the food you eat can have a direct effect on your energy level, physical health and mood. And when blood levels drop or spike, it can also have a dramatic impact on your mental stability. Nutrients in foods can also help ease anxiety and depression, including folate, vitamin B12, calcium, iron, selenium, zinc and omega-3. Experts agree that regular meals and snacks, combining a protein, nutrient-dense carbohydrate and healthy fat, is the key to a balanced diet and mind.

ANGRY

Anger is a normal human emotion that can cause slight irritation to a strong rage. Suppressed anger can be an underlying cause of anxiety and depression, which can disrupt thinking behavior patterns and even physical health problems. It’s important to learn ways to manage anger and stress – below are some suggestions:

  • Use deep belly breathing as a way to calm and center yourself.
  • Use positive self talk and words that combat angry thoughts, like”relax” or “slow down.”
  • Be assertive calmly and directly instead of aggressively about issues you have with someone.
  • See out the support of others to talk through your feelings.
  • Keep of log of when and why you feel angry.
  • Use empathy to put yourself in someone else’s place.
  • Learn to laugh at yourself.
  • Seek professional help if you feel your anger is affecting your relationship or your health.

LONELY

Everyone feels lonely for time-to-time, but long periods of loneliness or social isolation can have a negative impact on your health as much as obesity. Research suggests that people need to attend to loneliness in the same way they would their diet or how much sleep they get. So what can a lonely person do?

  • Recognize the loneliness.
  • Understand what the loneliness is doing to your mind and body, so you can do something about it. Studies show that loneliness increases the risk for death by 45 percent and the chance of developing dementia by 64 percent.
  • Respond to your loneliness “safely.” Social media isn’t a substitute for face-to-face contact, but it’s better than nothing. Sometimes it’s good to sign up for join something that’s outside your comfort zone.
  • A therapist can also help if loneliness comes with anxiety or depression.

TIRED

Sleep is so critical to the good mental health of everyone. Sleep deprivation for someone managing a mental health issue can trigger depression, manic episodes and psychosis. However, everyone needs a good night sleep to think clearly and keep your mood in check.. If you struggle with falling asleep or staying asleep, below are some tips to health but consult a healthcare provider if you have more serious issues.

  • Go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning.
  • Establish a bedtime ritual.
  • Avoid caffeine after 1 p.m.
  • Eat on a regular schedule and avoid heavy meals before bedtime.
  • Exercise daily but avoid strenuous exercises right before bed.
  • Play soothing music or read.
  • Take a warm bath or shower.
  • Place lavender oil on your pillow or by your bedside.

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