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People explain four things you need to ask yourself when you feel your thoughts spiraling

The HALT method involves asking yourself four simple questions when you feel yourself having negative thoughts or emotions.

People explain four things you need to ask yourself when you feel your thoughts spiraling
Cover Image Source: TikTok | @lacyhartselle

Trigger warning: This article contains themes of suicide and mental health issues that some readers may find distressing.

Keeping your mental health in check has always been a challenge like no other. People tend to get plagued by negative emotions from time to time. However, most of the time, we can't pinpoint the reason behind them. So when a TikTok creator @anania00 posted a video about how they keep their negative emotions and depressive thoughts at bay, it kickstarted an elaborate debate on the platform. Several fellow TikTok creators joined in to comment on @anania00's claims and shared their thoughts about how people could analyze their fluctuating emotions.

 Image Source: TikTok | @anania00
Image Source: TikTok | @anania00

"Let's consider though, I'm not a bi**h and I'm just hungry at this moment, you know what I mean?" Anania says in their video. "Then we might be able to start our healing journey as a unit because I haven't thought about suicide in the past 20 minutes and I just had a 3-piece from Popeye's. There's a correlation here, is all I'm saying."

Though this TikTok creator shared their video with a humorous intent, it sparked debate amongst netizens about how we can actually prevent ourselves from spiraling into our depressive thoughts by opting for a simple exercise.

That simple solution happens to be eating, according to a bunch of TikTok users. Stitching a video with Anania's clip, @zairell777 agreed to the correlation between food and our changing emotions.

"This person is spot on," she says in her video, referring to Anania's revelation that they felt better after having a meal. She explained what she learned from what was considered to be a part of DBT or Dialectical Behavioral Therapy skills. People need to pay attention to something called HALT, which is an acronym for Hunger, Anger, Lonely and Tired.

Image Source: TikTok | @zairell777
Image Source: TikTok | @zairell777

"If you're feeling anything negative, if you feel any negative emotions or you're having some negative thought patterns, run down the list and then act accordingly. Were you suicidal or did you just need some chicken?" she adds. @zairell777 acknowledges that every cause of people's negative emotions might not be tackled by this method, but in many cases, being in a negative headspace can easily be solved by eating.

Image Source: TikTok | @zairell777
Image Source: TikTok | @zairell777

A third TikTok creator, Lacy Hartselle Buffat (@lacyhartselle) has also shared a video explaining HALT. Lacy, who mostly creates videos on mental health awareness on the platform, explained how the HALT method can be used to keep our unexplained depressive thoughts at bay. "This is a good way to assess yourself when you're feeling overwhelmed or vulnerable and your thoughts are starting to spiral. Do I need to express some feelings here? Am I lonely? Do I need to phone a friend or at least journal to myself?" Lacy says in her video.

"Am I Hungry? Am I Angry? Am I Lonely? Am I Tired? Do I need to address these things? After you take action to meet your own needs and to check in with yourself, you can function from a more clear-headed and balanced space," she remarks.

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A post shared by Lacy Hartselle Buffat (@lahartselle)


According to a report from World Health Organization, about 3.8% of the population experiences depression, including 5% of adults (4% among men and 6% among women) and 5.7% of adults older than 60 years. Approximately 280 million people in the world reportedly have depression.

These videos ignited a healthy discussion in the community where many people could open up about their mental health struggles and how they were able to start their healing journey. People benefited from learning that being self-aware, practicing stress management techniques and choosing healthy ways to cope with negative emotions can prove to be helpful for both our mental and physical well-being.

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