By Kristen Clark
Feelings come and go. One day we feel like we’re on top of the world. The next day we feel like the world is on top of us. Did you know that feelings are also often the result of how well we take care of ourselves?
Our needs are important and making time to care for those needs can contribute to long-term feelings of wellbeing. When we neglect our own needs and forget to nurture ourselves we run the risk of deeper levels of low-self esteem. For me personally, when my needs go unmet I can easily become overwhelmed by feelings of inferiority, which can cause me to:
- Unfairly criticize myself
- Overreact to the actions and comments of others
- Second-guess myself
- Believe things to be impossible
Thankfully, I discovered a tool that helps me take care of myself in my effort to maintain confidence through most situations. Often used in addition recovery, the HALT method suggests pausing long enough to assess if I am Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired. If I am hungry, I make time for a meal or quick snack. If I am angry, I take a few extra minutes to detach from my stressful situation; I breathe, relax, stretch my limbs, count to ten, pray, and emotionally regroup. If I am tired, I withdraw for a nap and some quiet time in an effort to recharge my battery. If I am lonely and feeling secluded, I lift my spirits by visiting a neighbor or friend.
The HALT method allows me to tend to my immediate needs and maintain an attitude of confidence. When I’m strong – physically, mentally, and emotionally – I am more effective because I am free to:
- Take risks by learning from my mistakes rather than repeating them
- Hear and benefit from constructive feedback and criticism
- Trust my own ideas, perceptions, and opinions with the courage to voice my feelings and beliefs
- Hope for and expect success
Proverbs 18:14 reminds us that our spirit can sustain a broken body, but when the spirit dies so does our hope. Using the HALT method, I take care of myself and protect my spirit of confidence so I can move forward in faith.
“I eat like a vulture. Unfortunately, I’m afraid the resemblance doesn’t end there.”
Do you suffer from a low self-image? I can help you with that!