Robert Sanders, NLP Practitioner, Timeline Therapist and Life Coach at Vinings, talks about “needs” – at every level:
We all know that our bodies need certain things to maintain them. Without food, water, air and sleep we would very soon be in serious trouble, and ultimately die. These needs are so vital, that when we don’t fulfill them correctly, our bodies and our unconscious minds let us know in very clear ways:
- Your stomach rumbles when you are hungry;
- Your mouth feels parched when you are thirsty;
- If you run out of air, you gasp for breath;
- If you lack sleep, you may literally fall unconscious or even experience strange effects such as hallucinations.
In a similar way, it is widely agreed, there are certain basic psychological needs, which have developed in human beings universally, which if not fulfilled to a certain degree, will result in psychological problems – for example anger, sadness, anxiety or depression.
The great thing about this understanding is that if we are aware that we have these needs, then there are many simple things that we can do – small and often simple adjustments that we can make to our lifestyles, which can significantly enhance our mood, and our ability to cope with difficult situations. Paying attention to these needs can even help lift depression and keep it away permanently.
So what are these basic psychological needs? Views differ, but one view, gaining popularity at the moment, is that of Joe Griffin and Ivan Tyrrell, pioneers in the Human Givens approach. They suggest the following nine basic needs:
- the need to give and receive attention;
- the need to take heed of the mind body connection;
- the need for a sense of safety and security;
- the need for a sense of community and making a contribution;
- the need for challenge and creativity;
- the need for intimacy;
- the need to feel a sense of control;
- the need for a sense of status;
- the need for purpose, goals and meaning.
As you read this list, you may feel that some of the needs expressed here are completely out of your control to improve. For example, a person who is in a destructive relationship may feel that there is no way to get a sense of control in their lives. A person who is very lonely or suffering a loss of a loved one may feel that there is no way to fulfill that need for intimacy.
There are often ways however, that we can, at least slightly, improve the level at which we currently find ourselves in fulfilling any of these needs. It is in those small improvements that we can often be aware of bigger changes.
Here at Vinings there are a range of experienced and skilled practitioners, who can help fulfill some of these needs to a greater or lesser extent. Over the next few articles I will be going into deeper detail about what each of the above psychological needs represent in reality for you, and also making some suggestions as to what is available to help you focus on any of these.
Naturally, it is important to say that if you are experiencing symptoms such as depression, anxiety, panic or addiction then you should seek help as soon as possible.
You may wish to talk to your doctor, and we also have several people, based here at Vinings who may well be able to help: people such as Rapid Transformational Therapist, Certified Hypnotherapist and Nutritional Therapist, Darshika Bower; myself Robert Sanders, as a Master NLP Practitioner, Timeline Therapist and coach, or Hypnotherapist Judy Sharp. In the next article I will look more closely at the first of these emotional needs: The need to give and receive attention.
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