Research into human needs has a long history.
"Needs can be thought of as resources life requires to sustain itself. For example, our physical well-being depends on our needs for air, water, rest, and food being fulfilled. Our psychological and spiritual well-being is enhanced when our needs for understanding, support, honesty, and meaning are fulfilled. All human beings have the same needs. Regardless of our gender, educational level, religious beliefs, or nationality, we have the same needs”. Rosenberg (2003)
Simply put, a need is necessary for an individual to live a healthy and happy life.
Over the past few decades, there has been renewed academic interest in psychological needs, principally through self-determination theory. SDT reduces basic human needs down to just three: autonomy, competence and relatedness.
Autonomy is defined as the desire to self-organise behaviour and experience. Competence means having an impact on and attaining valued outcomes. Relatedness is the desire to feel connected to others, to give love and care and be.
Our emotional needs are the conditions we require to feel happy, fulfilled, or at ease; including feeling appreciated, feeling accomplished, feeling safe, or feeling part of a community. As humans, we seek emotional nourishment just as much as physical nourishment, like food and rest.
Our emotions are our compass.
They provide valuable information about psychological need satisfaction.
Negative emotions (feeling frustrated, anxious, insecure, bored, resentful, or hurt) generally indicate that our needs are not being satisfied while positive emotions (feeling curious, peaceful optimistic, confident, creative) signal that our needs are met.
Furthermore, knowing how to express our needs is crucial for our wellbeing and our relationships. The first step to grow is gaining awareness of our needs.
Whenever you are feeling dissatisfied, unhappy or discontented, take a moment and think about what is missing. You might go through the examples below - what stands out for you? Label your needs. This will support you to express them to others and you learn acceptance instead of judgment. Would you like to know more? Get in touch...