HALT – Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired

One of the slogans in 12 step fellowships is HALT!

HALT stands for don’t get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired. At first thought one might question what’s the connection between any of those and acting out?

However, as we stay sober and become more aware of our feelings, we realize the wisdom behind these slogans. All four of these states put us in an altered state of mind, and our rational brain stops working, instead we start thinking of our old behaviors, and they look “glorified” and as a possible solution to whatever our problem might be.

When we stay in our spiritual balance and in fit “spiritual condition” we make sure to take care of ourselves, to eat right, sleep right, keep our emotions in check and not get angry and resentful (resentment is the number one killer of addicts), loneliness is another killer as addiction is a disease of loneliness and isolation, and of course last but not least tiredness, when we are tired our brains don’t function properly and we can’t make rational choices.

So the next time you start thinking crazy, think HALT! And ask yourself am I in any states of HALT?

1 Comment
  • David D.

    December 25, 2012 at 11:17 PM

    HALT is a great tool to use. It is important to realize that this not a spiritual principle of AA. It is not a Step or a Tradition. Therefore, it is misleading to the untreated alcholic dying to claim this as part of the message of AA. I have not been hungry, not angry, not lonely, and not tired yet I drank. The message of AA is to help others find a sufficient substitute for alcohol. HALT can be helpful but it is NOT sufficient for recovery.

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