Check-ins are crucial for increasing your self-care and self-awareness if you’re in recovery or in the beginning stages of sobriety. HALT is a method created by David Streem, MD, a psychiatrist and addiction specialist. This method is great for achieving personal accountability and is frequently utilized in 12-step meetings and rehabilitation programs.
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What Does HALT Stand For?
HALT, which stands for “hunger, anger, lonely, and tired,” is an abbreviation. When using the HALT approach, you periodically check in with yourself and question how you’re feeling in each of these four categories. Daily check-ins are possible in some cases. Occasionally, you might check in with yourself every hour. You decide how frequently you use the HALT approach.
The significance of this approach is that you must regularly stop (or pause) what you are doing and address the cause of your feelings. This is done to help reduce the risk of turning to drugs or alcohol when one of these four areas is in danger by using better coping skills instead.
This method can also help us identify triggers. For instance, if you’re feeling agitated, what’s the root of your agitation? Are you tense because you didn’t sleep well? Or perhaps you’re agitated because you unintentionally skipped breakfast. Or did someone say something to you earlier that day that upset you? You can locate easy-to-implement, wholesome options (outside of self medicating) if you realize how to deal with your urgent needs. This can entail trying to maintain a rigid sleeping pattern, eating better, or reaching out to a friend.
It’s crucial to understand how to deal with each of HALT’s four categories. What you need to know is as follows:
When You Feel Hunger
Physical hunger may result in agitation, rage, or nausea, or even nutrient deficiency. Our ability to think effectively is impacted by hunger. Making unwise judgments when you can’t think clearly increases your risk of relapsing. Not only is it crucial that you eat every meal, but it’s also crucial that you do so mindfully. An excellent general multivitamin that tastes good, makes you smile, and doesn’t feel like you’re taking medicine can be helpful, according to Dr. Streem.
When You Feel Anger
Dr. Streem emphasizes that even though anger can be an unpleasant emotion, everyone experiences it occasionally. Like lack of sleep, excessive rage can have a detrimental effect on your life and make decision-making challenging. When you struggle to let go of your anger, it penetrates into other aspects of your life and becomes a problem. Stress management, spirituality, therapy, and meditation are a few healthy strategies to deal with anger. These practices can help you have better emotional and cognitive control over your decision-making.
When You Feel Lonely
Your support network is there for you whenever you need to talk to someone or when you feel anxious, stressed, or depressed. You might benefit from attending a meeting, making a call to a friend, or paying a loved one a visit. You can also just venture outside by going for a walk, doing some shopping, or visiting a coffee shop. Reach out and make connections with people who want to see you happy and healthy rather than staying quiet and succumbing to substance misuse again.
Keep in mind that loneliness can happen whether we are alone or amid a crowd of people if we decide to keep our inner world to ourselves. When we don’t think others can comprehend, we act in this way. But being alone is a self-imposed situation.
When You Feel Tired
By aiming to go to bed on time and waking up at roughly the same time each day, you can maintain good sleep hygiene. In fact, if you suffer from addiction, it’s crucial to get medical help if you experience nocturnal anxiety or a sleep issue. To aid, doctors can recommend therapies and non-addictive medications.
Sleep deprivation can make bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders worse. Additionally, untreated mental illnesses can lead to a rise in substance abuse, which can set off a chain reaction of unhealthy behavior and ultimately relapse.
Why Does HALT Work?
Addiction-related brain regions can be stimulated by negative emotions, hunger, angler, loneliness and tiredness are the most common. It’s crucial to regularly check in with oneself. But changes in environment, behavior, and relationships pose the biggest threats to sobriety. For instance, you might find yourself skipping meals or getting frustrated at a new job. It’s crucial to employ HALT during these times.
Mindfulness with HALT
The HALT technique is essentially mindfulness. It aids us in our quest for self-inquiry and understanding by making us more conscious of our emotional states and how they relate to our actions. It also helps us focus and maintain discipline.
In contrast, it has been demonstrated in numerous brain research that consistent mindfulness meditation reduces emotional reactivity to unpleasant stimuli.
A regular mindfulness practice facilitates and enhances the kind of self-discipline and self-awareness needed for the HALT technique. The HALT technique gives a fresh way to investigate the connection between our physical state and our emotional responses and leads us toward a deeper comprehension of our bodies and minds.
Sanctuary Recovery Foundation
Our caring professionals can help you overcome your addiction and take the necessary steps toward sobriety. In addition, we offer a safe, clean, and supportive living environment that encourages our residents to participate in activities that foster confidence and success.
Contact us for more information on the Sanctuary Recovery Foundation located in Charleston, SC.