Meeting your needs
An important thing for quality of life is having our needs met. There are various reasons for not meeting our own needs. Sometimes we have simply never experienced a particular thing so do not identify the need. This could be being comfortable in your own body or making a choice of where to meet with a friend. Identifying needs is a process, sometimes we might stumble on the need and it enters awareness, other times it can be identified during periods of being mindful or when trying to resolve something else (e.g. insomnia or tension).
In order to meet our own needs we have to believe we deserve to have needs met and that we are worthy as human beings. If you do not feel worthy or loved by others it can be difficult to treat yourself with love and acceptance. Conversely, not loving yourself makes it difficult to feel love from others. In this situation not meeting needs can be a lack of care for the self or even a form of self-punishment, either consciously or subconsciously (I don’t deserve to feel warm, therefore I will not put the heating on). In this case exploring and gradually building self-worth and self-acceptance may also increase the meeting of needs.
Another barrier to meeting needs is communication. We might not be used to communicating our needs and may not have the confidence and language to do so. A situation or relationship that has impacted on confidence and self-esteem could mean we have gotten out of the habit of communicating needs. It can feel difficult to say, “I want… I feel… I need…”
When needs are met it becomes easier to resolve other things. For example feeling safe and well rested can reduce anxiety and being able to say “no” and being realistic about priorities can help in managing stress. Being kinder to yourself and meeting your own needs may bring about a change in your perspective of the world.
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About Jacqueline Karaca
Jacquie Karaca is a psychotherapist and author. She practices individual and relationship counselling in Alsager.