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HALT!

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Quite a while ago, a good friend of mine posted an article on Facebook about relationships and how communication goes awry when we feel certain ways. It was summarized by the word, "HALT". As in, when you're about to bite your significant other's head off...halt and think about what is really going on. (Or vice versa if they just got cranky with you!) Each letter stands for something significant: H = Hungry, A = Angry, L = Lonely, T = Tired.

One of the reasons I think this stuck with me so is because I read it before we were about to be married. Our 1st year anniversary is coming up in 2 weeks and I can attest that "HALT"ing helped us get through some of the tough days! As you can imagine (or may have experienced yourself), people love to give advice when you get married.... but thankfully I've got some amazing resources who told me that never going to bed mad is a total crock and that sometimes a good night's sleep fixes more than you'd believe!

So I've learned that when I get snappy, there's something else that's usually up besides the occasional stray sock in the living room... Like feeling like I'm the ONLY 30-something at work (lonely), or the commute home where someone cut me off (angry), or I start crying because it's 10pm and I still haven't gotten some tasks done for the day (tired), or we forgot to eat lunch on time (hungry).

But here's where it gets really interesting...... I'm starting to apply this concept of looking deeper when I feel like eating. Am I actually HUNGRY? My brain seems to think that anything equals hunger. LOL, my husband joked with me asking if it was like, "Oh ouch! I stubbed my toe! I should eat." : ) Now, that's a bit exaggerated, but as an example last night I was getting tired and said aloud that I thought I could eat something. I decided to wait before I acted upon that and found myself almost falling asleep 5 minutes later. Many of us know we eat for comfort to ease stress, rejection, sadness, anxiety, etc. But what about just plain eating because we're getting our signals mixed up?! I'm eating because I'm lonely??? Yes, I can fully admit that I've tried to make Oreos my BFF. I'm eating because I'm angry??? Yes, I can fully admit that I've downed some high-calorie cocktails and happy hour snacks to try to put behind a bad rush hour. I'm eating because I'm tired??? Oh yeah, that's a bad college habit that I'm learning to kick.

This is all a process and an exercise in reprogramming 30 years of behaviors, but I'm learning to be more intentional in my relationships - especially with my unhealthy relationship with food. I'm learning that when I "feel like eating" it is NOT the same as being hungry. I'm learning to halt and think first, speak (or eat) second.
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