The need to give and receive attention

Written by Robert Sanders. Posted in Basic Human Needs, Blog

friends chatting need to give and receive attentionAs I write this latest in the series of blogs on our basic psychological needs, Valentines Day is nearly upon us. Naturally attitudes vary about this day with it’s increasing commercial attention. The purpose of the day has become increasingly blurred, with people giving cards and presents to loved ones at various levels. There are even websites promoting Valentines for pets!

At it’s simplest though, perhaps it is an opportunity to focus on the basic need for intimacy that we discussed in the previous blog of this series. Remember that intimacy is something that can be shared at different levels with different people. It’s not necessarily about love and romance.

Closely linked to intimacy is another basic human need – the need to regularly give and receive attention.

Are you keeping in touch? The basic need for intimacy.

Written by Robert Sanders. Posted in Basic Human Needs, Blog

need for intimacy represented by children touching handsIn general, we all have a basic need to have connection with others. While there are a few exceptions, such as those on the autistic spectrum, the need for intimacy on some level is vital to our mental, emotional and physical well-being. This is why, for most people, solitary confinement or exclusion are such painful and cruel punishments.

If you are not fulfilling your need for intimacy, you are highly likely to experience some level of depression and anxiety. 

How do I fulfill my need for intimacy?

Many of us are lucky enough to have a partner or a spouse, with whom we can share intimate moments. From a gentle touch on the arm, to kissing and sexual intercourse, we are fortunate to be able to deeply fulfill our need for intimacy. This may seem the ideal, but even if you live alone, it is still possible to improve this area of your life. It is also true to say that relationships with a loved one may not always be running at their best, and the intimacy that once was there, may now be less.

We all need a challenge (it’s a basic psychological need)

Written by Robert Sanders. Posted in Basic Human Needs, Blog

goldfish bowl:the need for challengeIn this latest blog in my series on meeting your psychological needs I am focusing on our need for challenge. 

Not everybody wants to climb Everest, swim the channel or run an ultra-marathon. Some people do these things without thinking, but they are not essential to everybody. When it comes to being creative, which is related to challenge, we don’t all want to become the new Picasso. While it may be true that we all have a novel in us, we might be perfectly happy to keep it there!

However on some level, there is a basic human need to be challenged. If we live a life entirely based on habit, a safe environment, comfort and casual social interaction, over time, it is very likely that our boundaries of what is safe will shift.

We all need a sense of community and contribution

Written by Robert Sanders. Posted in Basic Human Needs, Blog

Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much” – Helen Keller.

Returning to this occasional series on the basic psychological needs. Today the focus is on our need for community.

Human beings are essentially social animals. Throughout history, from the earliest times we have lived in groups and depended on each other. This has been part of our success, if we can call it that.

To varying degrees, people need people. One of the basic psychological needs that must be fulfilled to keep you free from depression and anxiety is that  sense of community. More than this it is about making a contribution to others.  Essentially, you need to feel part of something larger than yourself, part a community of people, working for something that has meaning and significance. 

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