We are all born with innate knowledge programmed into us from our genes. Throughout life we experience this knowledge as feelings of physical and emotional need.
The emotional needs nature has programmed us with, are there to connect us to the external world, particularly to other people, and survive in it.
WHAT ARE OUR MAIN EMOTIONAL NEEDS?
- Security — safe territory and an environment which allows us to develop fully
- Attention (to give and receive it) — a form of nutrition
- Sense of autonomy and control — to make responsible choices
- Emotional intimacy — to know that at least one other person accepts us totally for who we are
- Feeling part of a wider community
- Privacy — opportunity to reflect and consolidate experience
- Sense of status within social groupings
- Sense of competence and achievement
- Meaning and purpose — which come from being stretched in what we do and think
When our human needs are NOT met in the world, nature ensures we have distress, in the form of anxiety, depression, anger, fears etc.
People whose emotional needs ARE met, in a balanced way, do NOT suffer mental health problems.
AIMING FOR BALANCE
Meeting our physical and emotional needs ensures we survive and develop as individuals and a species.
WE HAVE THE RESOURCES – WITHIN
The resources nature gave us to help us meet our human needs include:
- The ability to develop complex long term memory, which enables us to add to our innate knowledge and learn
- The ability to build rapport, empathise and connect with others
- Imagination, which enables us to focus our attention away from our emotions, use language and problem solve more creatively and objectively
- Emotions and instincts
- A conscious, rational mind that can check out our emotions, question, analyse and plan
- An observing self — that part of us that can step back, be more objective and be aware of itself
THE RECIPE FOR BLOSSOMING AND GROWING
If our needs are being met well, and in balance, we will be thriving and in good emotional health. The way we use our innate resources to meet our needs determines our physical and emotional health.