Thursday, March 8

A Source for Sanity: H.A.L.T. 3/8/12


         It is reassuring knowing God cares for us.

         He does, more than we can ever love ourselves.  It is even better, appreci-ating this fact on the experiential level.  Not just cognitively.

        We are also fortunate when we enjoy the benefits of a supportive network.  They are our Balcony People.  

      But, we also enjoy the richness of life when we take care of ourselves.  Ourselves.  It is easy thinking of everyone else's needs, neglecting our feelings and what we want.  Then we wonder why we are irritated or depressed.

        It helps remem-bering all negative feelings are a re-sult having an unmet need. This is today's subject.  In the midst of life's de-manding nature, it critical making time for ourselves.

      Continually run-ning at 9,000 rpms isn't healthy.

       Part of our personal growth is learning to do less during stressful times.  Less than we are capable of accomplishing.  We may not be as efficient as we want to be.  But we'll be more effective.

       Making time for us gives more bounce to our life.  We get through life with more energy, zest.  We are more likely thrive.

      We want to make time for personal growth.  One way is having Quiet Time.  For many, it is early in the morning.  We make time even though the urgencies of life scream for attention.  We invest in our-selves despite the e-mails awaiting us.

      We want to do this even when text messages keep piling up on our phone.  These demands prod us, insisting we ignore our mental and spiritual needs.  But it is more vital, realizing the need to don the armor of having a Quiet Time early in the morning, before battling the demands of the day.

       Studying, praying, meditating, they are forms of having Quiet Time.  So is reading uplifting material, listening to inspiring music.   Going for a walk at a park keeps us fresh, too.  They are all ways of nurturing us.  Any of these possibilities are better than TV.  Or playing video games.  Yes, even better than surfing the internet. (Close out your computer screen and go ahead and invest in yourself.  I'll still be here when you return.)

       You still here?  Okay, I'll continue.  Conversations with friends or doing community service. These activities are good for our mind, emo-tions and spirit.  The following quote is also helpful to keep in mind during stressful times.
HALTDon't get too hungry, angry, lonely or tired.  I use this reminder to help me set healthy limits for myself, which I never learned as a a child. In the past, I often believed I should be able to go for days without enough food or sleep.   I also tested the limits of my ability to handle enormous doses of stress and isolation without tending to my own emotional or physical needs. 
I've learned a gentler, simpler way of caring for myself.  I find it of great benefit to have a brief list of the most basic areas in which I neglect my own well-being: nourishment, emotional wellness, fellowship, and physical rest.   
First, is my stomach rumbling?   Then I need to stop what I'm doing and eat some food.  Am I too angry about the trivial details of my life?   If so,  I can take a break and punch a pillow or engage in some physical exercise [or process these issues with a trusted, emotionally healthy friend].  Am I lonely?  I could get together with friends or call someone [who accepts me unconditionally]. Finally, am I so tired that I can't keep my eyes open? Then it's time to lie down for a nap or a good night's sleep. 
When I feel stressed, I'll stop to check whether my basic needs are being met. We can watch for the need to HALT and give ourselves special attention when we are feeling  Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired.
        We have a liveliness, an excitement for life when we take care of ourselves.  When we do, we enjoy our time on earth more.  We will have an Attitude of Gratitude, along with greater sanity. 

2 comments:

Vanessa Higgins said...

I love this HALT acronym. I was spinning around at 9000 rpms as you say, and I burnt out. Hard. Now I sleep - a lot. I also spend time alone with myself without feeling stressed to be somewhere else, do something else. It's a much more peaceful, reflective and open life I live now. My friends say I am much more connected to them than I ever was and that means a lot.

Thank you for sharing a room at your inn.

Pablo said...

Vanessa,

I love your enthusiasm. It's good hearing that you are taking care of yourself.

I've written many articles on this subject. Here's one:
http://theattitudeofgratitudeinn.blogspot.com/2012/03/this-is-time-when-flood-lights-turned.html

Here's another:
http://theattitudeofgratitudeinn.blogspot.com/2011/04/appreciating-lifes-gifts.html

I'll stop there. That's plenty to consider.

You are a fortunate woman. You are blessed with friends. I can see why: you have a lot to offer. One of my favorite times is checking out your blog. Really.

I'm glad you liked the service provided here at the inn. Next time let me know if you need an extra blanket. :)

I've very happy for you. You have come to conclusions about your life that many never consider in their entire lifetime.

Thank you so much for dropping by. I value your perspective. I look forward to hearing your responses to what I write here.

Pablo

Quotes from the Posts

"I'm mindful that our thoughts affect the words we use, our words influence our actions, our actions shape our character and our character determines our destiny."

From "My Character Determines My Destiny." To read it, please click here.

"Progress not perfection, is better than no progress at all, especially when we're trying to rid ourselves from unwelcome dragons that dwell within the closets of our soul."

From, "Still Learning" which, within four days, became the most popular post
written. To read it, please click here.

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its trouble, but it does empty today of its strength"
From the post: "Life Is Not a Correspondence Program." Click here to read it.

"Even though we cannot control our circumstances, we can control how we choose to respond to them."

From, "Handling Stress and Dealing With an Emotional Bully."Click here to read this post.

"Nope, being busy isn't exciting. Boring is good. Because boring is not boring; boring is being healthy, living a balanced life that has serenity"

From: "Do You Know What It Means If You Are Too Busy?" For more, please click here.

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