Update: Here's another post to support this...the Feelings Wheel.

This one is seriously one of my favorite strategies to teach students of all ages (and adults).  It is a way to describe your emotional state when you are feeling less-than-perfect.  Since I am an adult, I use HALTED to dissect how I am feeling.  My husband will attest to the fact that I am not myself when I am feeling "H" - hungry.  I know I am not myself when I am feeling "T" - tired.  Since little O is young, I think of HALTED when she is acting out-of-sorts or experiencing a melt-down.  I run through the acronym in my mind to figure out what is driving her behavior and in doing so, I am able to better help her.

Ready to HALT yourself?

Are you feeling....

H - Hungry?
A - Angry?
L - Lonely?
T - Tired?
E - Embarrassed?
D - Disappointed?

Some days I think, HALTED-OS might also be helpful:

O - Overwhelmed?
S - Scared?

I would love to give credit to the student who taught me HALT a decade ago.  Since that time, my college students and I have added the ED and OS parts.

Do you have other tools that help humans express their emotions or at least recognize their emotional state?  Daniel Goleman has said the first part of emotional intelligence is self-awareness. 

With HALTED, we are on our way.


PS - I think little O might be ready to be formally taught the acronym.  The other morning she woke up incredibly cranky.  For at least five minutes she was giving me a hard time about nothing.  Then, I ran through the acronym in my mind and said, "Are you hungry?"  I didn't even need to get to the other letters because she agreed, she was hungry.  I ran to the kitchen, grabbed a string cheese, she devoured it and was a new person in minutes.  The rest of our morning was enjoyable.

PSS - Here's the link to the Feelings Wheel.