Often we talk either about what to do to keep stress from building up in you or what to be aware of when it does reach a high point within you. Today we’ll tackle both of these areas of Stress Management using a technique called HALT. This is a useful acronym to help with preventing and dealing with stress in your life. Here it is:
It’s a two pronged approach. First it is important to keep stress that you can control to a minimum. Never let yourself get too:
Hungry---try to make certain that you eat at roughly the same times each day. The body likes regularity. It likes to know when you’re eating and prepares itself to do so when the usual time comes. Letting yourself get too hungry will make it more difficult to act in your usual loving manner. This can translate into lessor customer service and strained relationships.
Angry---when you have an issue with someone, it is usually best to admit to your anger and attempt to talk it out. Too much unexpressed anger can build into resentment and bitterness.
Lonely---when life is throwing difficulties with the boss, loved ones or customers at you, pay attention to how much you may withdraw and isolate yourself from others. Even if you are an introvert, be sure to have enough contact with others to ground you.
Tired---Pace yourself. Be mindful of your level of fatigue throughout your day and week. Tiredness can lead to crankiness and more conflict with those around you.
Second, even though it’s a great idea not to let yourself get too overboard in any of these areas, we know that at times in your life that is just what happens. You plan well but you may be left feeling too hungry or angry or lonely or tired. At these times, it’s very important to monitor your interactions when dealing with others. You will not be at your best, so check yourself as you go about your day. Circumstances may have not allowed you to stay ahead of the HALT issues, so use a moment to “halt” and keep stress from making things worse.